A loss to Mounties and with other results going against them the NSW Cup Sharks have bowed out of the finals race.
For the defending NSW Cup champs the loss of a number of key players due to the injury and suspension toll facing the NRL squad made the task just a little bit too difficult, with a young Sharks outfit falling 38-24 to Mounties in their final game.
With a side featuring nine players eligible for the NYC, the Sharks led xxx at half time but couldn’t stem the tide in the second, with Mounties proving too good on the day.
After Wyong moved past the Sharks with a win on Saturday over the Cutters, coupled with the loss to Mounties, they needed a loss by the Warriors to sneak into the final eight.
Playing bottom-placed Norths it always appeared the Sharks fate was sealed but an early Bears try over in Auckland gave them hope. From there however it was all the Warriors as they ran out 48-12 winners to claim the last finals spot.
In the match against Mounties the Sharks were more than a handful for a Mounties side featuring former NSW and Australian five eighth Terry Campese, with the Cronulla side jumping out to an 18-10 half time lead.
From there however Mounties upped the ante, with two sin-binnings and a couple of tough calls making life difficult for the Sharks who had no answer in the second 40, scoring just one more try as their opponents ran away with the points.
It was a disappointing end for a Sharks side like their NRL counterparts who were crippled by injury and suspension.
The effort however against Mounties points to a positive future, with nine NYC players turning out in the NSW Cup yesterday and acquitting themselves well.
The NSW Cup, a week ahead of the NRL, begin their finals next weekend.
Mounties 38 (W Dargan 3, S Sauiluma 3, R Robinson tries; T Campese 5 goals) def. Cronulla Sharks 24 (Travis Robinson, Young Tonumaipea, Brad Deitz, Kurt Drysdale tries; Y Tonumaipea 4 goals) at Mt Pritchard Sports Ground.
NSW CUP Sharks v Mounties
1 KURT MANN
2 TRAVIS ROBINSON
19 JUSTIN O’NEILL
4 PAUL SIMONA
5 YOUNG TONUMAIPEA
6 BEN HAMPTON
21 JADEN CLARKE
26 JUNIOR MOORS
9 BRAD DEITZ
8 KURT DILLON
16 ANTHONY MORAITIS
12 MICHAEL MORRIS
13 WINSTONE ASOTASI
10 GEORGE ROSE
14 KURT DRYSDALE
15 JAKE GOODWIN
17 BEN CHAHOUD