NSW Cup match report – round 19
It was the NSW Cup Sharks at their attacking best, however on the other side of the ledger the Wentworthville Magpies were similarly free-flowing, with the Cronulla side eventually surviving a point-scoring shootout to claim a 40-36 victory in their round 19 match.
The Sharks were virtually unstoppable in the first 40, racing in six tries in racking up 34 points before half time but with their opponents scoring 22 of their own – for a 56 point first half tally – it was still anyone’s game with the second period remaining.
Both teams tightened up defensively, with the Sharks adding just one converted try to their total and while allowing the Magpies to cross the stripe three times, but in the end run they still managed to register an important win with finals approaching.
Despite the result the Magpies remained in second place on the NSW Cup ladder, with the Sharks staying in seventh, however with six rounds of the competition left to be played the Cronulla side find themselves just two points away from third position.
For the Sharks Matt Prior, now reaching full fitness following a frustrating season marred by injury, had perhaps his best game in Sharks colours, while Daniel Holdsworth did a good job in steering the team around in helping to engineer the victory.
At the back Nathan Gardner again made a solid contribution, with the elusive Sharks number one crossing for his ninth try in just eight games this season.
The Sharks this week travel to Bathurst, where they will take on the competition leading Penrith Panthers on Saturday in what will be another test of their credentials as they attempt to mount a defense of the NSW Cup crown.
Nathan Gardner, Justin O’Neil, Daniel Holdsworth, Scott Sorensen, George Rose, Tupou Sopoaga, Matt Prior tries, Holdsworth 6 goals
NSW Cup team list – round 19
1 Nathan Gardner
2 Travis Robinson
3 Justin O’Neil
4 Blake Ayshford
5 Young Tonumaipea
6 Ben Hampton
7 Daniel Holdsworth
8 Dayne Weston
9 Scott Sorensen
10 George Rose
11 Junior Roqica
12 Sione Masima
19 Tupou Sopoaga
13 Matt Prior
14 Penani Manumalealii
15 Michael Morris