For both Sharks junior rep teams it was a case of lost opportunities with the Ball Sharks squandering a lead and the Matthews Cup side not able to get over the top of the Bulldogs in a close loss in round three matches played on Saturday.
The Ball Sharks had their game well and truly under control before an in-goal error saw the Bulldogs snatch a last minute 16-all draw, while in the Under 16’s Matthew match the young Cronulla side failed to take advantage of superior field position and a number of scoring chances in going down 12-10 in a nail-biter.
The draw in the SG Ball match hardly told the story of a Sharks side that was dominant for large periods of the game. The Sharks were in front 16-4 and could have extended their lead however a lost ball when attempting to score kept their opponents in the match.
The Under-18 Sharks again had the chance to ice a win with under eight minutes remaining when a shot at penalty goal was waved away, keeping the score at 16-4, before the dramatic finish saw the Dogs storm back into the contest.
A converted try saw the lead narrowed to 16-10, before a bizarre moment less then two minutes from time, the Sharks spilling the ball in the in-goal area only to see the Bulldogs touch down for a try, followed by a conversion from the touch-line, resulting in a drawn result.
For the Ball Sharks halfback Kyle Flanagan played strongly in his first game in the 18’s team, with his kicking game a feature. He was ably supported by Curtis Scott and Billy Magoulias with the experienced pair amongst their teams’ best.
In the Matthews Cup it could best be described as one that got away in a 12-10 loss to the Bulldogs in the match played at Remondis Stadium.
Like their SG Ball counterparts the Sharks seemed well in control of the match and in going to the break up by 10-6 it appeared they might be good enough to secure their first win of the 2015 junior rep season.
Unfortunately that wasn’t the way it panned out, with a Bulldogs try giving them a narrow two point lead which they would manage to defend until the fulltime siren.
The mixed results against the Bulldogs have now left the two Sharks teams with important games coming up next weekend when they travel to Henson Park to take on the Roosters.
Those matches are scheduled for 12 noon and 1.30pm kick offs, with a NSW game featuring the Newtown Jets, the Sharks partners in the NSW Cup competition, to play the Wests Tigers at 3.00pm.
Bronson Xerri, Jay Shearman tries, Luke Metcalf goal
Kyle Flanagan, Blayke Brailey, Bily Magoulias tries, Jack Williams 2 goals