Hayne-led Eels too good for Sharks
The Sharks have failed to recover from what coach James Shepherd described as a ‘sloppy’ start in going down by 32-12 to the Parramatta Eels.
Down 10-0 almost before the crowd had settled in their seats, the Sharks worked their way back into the contest on a number of occasion but in the end couldn’t quite reel in an Eels team led by their enigmatic fullback Jarryd Hayne.
Hayne scored twice, one a 95 metre effort, and created another try for the Eels in proving to be the catalyst to their victory.
His performance was enough to keep the Sharks at bay and leave them anchored to the bottom of the NRL ladder.
In the Eels first set of six the Sharks immediately realised the challenge they would face when Hayne burst through, beat fullback Michael Gordon and sprinted 40 metres to score wide out.
Sandow was wide with his kick at goal but with the match only three minutes old the Eels held a 4-0 lead.
Hayne was in the game again not long after, this time putting Ryan Morgan away, with the Eels centre drawing the fullback and passing for Semi Radradra to touch down.
This time Sandow was on target and the Eels led 10-0.
The Eels continued to throw plenty at the Sharks in attack but the defense held firm and the home team was able to narrow the margin on the back of some excellent work from a couple of their young guns.
First it was debutant Valentine Holmes making a break down the left hand side after some clever play from Jeff Robson, before Andrew Fifita would put Fa’amanu Brown over for his first NRL try with a well-timed pass.
Gordon converted and the Sharks trailed by just four at 10-6 to the Eels, a score the two teams would take to the break.
The second half began in a similar manner as the first for the Sharks, with Sandow putting Peni Terepo over next to the uprights in the opening minutes. Sandow converted and the Eels had a handy 10-point advantage with the strong southerly at their back.
Already facing an unhill battle the job for the Sharks would then get even harder when the Eels exploited an overlap down the right hand for winger Bureta Faraimo to cross out wide.
Sandow’s kick at goal was waved away but at 20-6 with 20 minutes to go the game wasn’t over ,but the odds were well and truly stacked in favour of the visitors.
To their credit the Sharks didn’t give up, with their second try of the afternoon again a result of some good lead up play from Holmes, the young winger dashing down the left hand touchline before passing inside for Robson to score.
Gordon kicked the goal from in front and at 20-12 Eels with 15 minutes of the match remaining the Sharks had given themselves a glimmer of hope.
However the final nail in the coffin came when a dropped ball by the Sharks while attacking their opponents line was scooped up by Hayne, with the NSW fullback racing 95-metres to score under the posts to seal the result.
The Eels scored one last try to blow the score out to 32-12 in a match the Sharks know could have been a whole lot closer had different things fallen their way at crucial times.
A positive for the Sharks in the beaten effort was the performance of Holmes in his first game in the NRL, with the 19-year-old dangerous almost every time he had the ball in his hands.
The Sharks now face two tough road trips in their next two starts when they travel to New Zealand and to Melbourne, before returning home for their final home game of the season against the Canberra Raiders in round 24.
Fa’amanu Brown, Jeff Robson tries, Michael Gordon 2 goals
Bureta Faraimo 2, Jarryd Hayne 2, Semi Radradra, Peni Terepo, tries Chris Sandow 4 goals
Minute by minute scoring
2 mins – Eels 4-0 – Hayne try
10 mins – Eels 10-0 – Radradra try, Sandow goal
30 mins – Eels 10-6 – Brown try, Gordon goal
45 mins – Eels 16-6 – Terepo try, Sandow goal
58 mins – Eels 20-6 – Faraimo try
65 mins – Eels 20-12 – Robson try, Gordon goal
69 mins – Eels 26-12 – Hayne try, Sandow goal
76 mins – Eels 32-12 – Faraimo try, Sandow goal
Crowd – 12,798