Storm rain on the Sharks parade
Injury, suspension and a whole range of other issues affecting the Sharks in 2014 has finally taken its toll, with the Cronulla side outplayed by the Melbourne Storm.
The Sharks had no answer to the attacking brilliance of the Melbourne side, going behind 30-0 at half time before eventually being beaten 48-6.
After showing plenty of fight in recent weeks without getting a result, the final score line was disappointing for the Sharks side who now face a must-win game against fellow cellar-dwellers the Canberra Raiders next Sunday afternoon.
Battling a Storm team enjoying a lions share of the possession the Sharks had no answer in the first 40 minutes, with the home team scoring almost at will.
After six Melbourne tries had blown the score out to 30-0 the siren came at the right time for the Sharks, with coach James Shepherd asking for extra effort from his troops after the break, and that’s exactly what he got.
Digging in and showing a great deal of pride the Sharks had the better of the early field position and were unlucky not to open their account in the 45th when winger Sosaia Feki was denied by the video referee.
The Storm would then add a seventh try to make it 36-0 however the Sharks continued to attack and to put their opponents under pressure. Eventually they were rewarded for their persistence, with Tupou Sopoaga throwing a long cut out pass for rookie Valentine Holmes to score out wide.
Holmes had plenty of work to do as the cover defense converged, however the 19-year-old in just his third NRL game showed great athleticism to get the ball down inches from the touch in goal line.
Fullback Michael Gordon converted from wide out to make it 36-6.
The Storm would go on to cross for two more tries to blow the score out to 48-6 on what was a disappointing evening for the young and inexperienced Cronulla team.
If looking for positives the performance of Holmes was impressive, with the youngster switching with Gordon between wing and fullback during the second half. His speed had the Storm scrambling on occasions in a great pointer for the future.
Skipper Paul Gallen also put in a wholehearted effort after a month on the sideline with a biceps injury, playing the first 75 minutes before being given an early mark by coach Shepherd.
The Sharks now move on to a game against the Canberra Raiders next Sunday afternoon in a match crucial to their chances of climbing off the bottom of the NRL ladder.
SHARKS 6 Valentine Holmes try, Michael Gordon goal
Lost to STORM 48