It was a case of missed opportunities for the Sharks junior rep sides with a draw and a last minute loss in matches played against the Raiders at Seiffert Oval in Canberra last weekend.
In the Matthews Cup the Sharks led everywhere except at the finishing line, with the Raiders scoring and converting in the dying moments to force a 20-all draw.
In the SG Ball in a topsy-turvey contest the Sharks trailed 16-4 at half time, fought back and led 24-22 with time running out, before a try with only two minutes remaining on the clock seeing the Canberra team steal a 28-24 win.
With the disappointing endings in the round six matches the Matthews Sharks are clinging to a spot in the top eight, while in the Ball nothing short of three wins from their last three matches will see the under-18 Cronulla side qualify for the semi-finals.
In the Matthews Cup the Sharks were well in control in the first half, racing to a 14-0 lead at the break.
The Raiders scored early to make it 14-4, however another converted try to the young Sharks made it 20-4 with less than 15 minutes of the match left on the clock and victory seemed assured.
From that point on momentum shifted, with three Canberra tries, two of them converted, in the last 12 minutes of the match leaving the Sharks flat and the home team jubilant in the fact that had snuck out of the game with one competition point.
For the Sharks prop Fine Kula, fullback Dylan Smith and half back Luke Metcalf were amongst the Sharks best.
In the SG Ball match that followed the game followed a vastly different path, with the Canberra 18’s well on top in the opening 35 minutes as they went to the break ahead by 16-4, a Daniel Vasquez try the only Sharks points.
Whatever was said at half time however had the desired effect on the Sharks, with three tries in the first 10 minutes, to Jesse Savage, Curtis Scott and Kyle Flanagan, seeing them take the lead 1t 22-16 in front.
A Jack Williams penalty goal extended the advantage to eight points, but with 18 minutes left in the match there was still plenty of time for the Raiders to mount a comeback of their own, which is exactly what they did.
A converted try to Canberra made it 24-22 with 14 to go, and just when it had appeared the Sharks had weathered the storm, another try two minutes from time sent the Cronulla boys home a dejected group.
Backrower Savage, prop Vasquez and SG Ball captain Curtis Scott received praise from coach Dave Howlett for their efforts on the day.
With three rounds remaining the Matthews Sharks sit in seventh place, the SG Ball in 12th.
The Sharks now return home for round seven matches against the Illawarra Steelers, scheduled to be played on Friday night at Remondis Stadium. Kick off times are 6.00pm (Matthews Cup) and 7.45pm (SG Ball).
CRONULLA SHARKS 20
Jaeman Salmon 2, Jack Gould, Semisi Kioa tries; Luke Metcalf 2 goals
CANBERRA RAIDERS 20
Seb Kris 2, Alifeleti Ngahe, Jesse Dent tries; Nitau Jr Soli, Dent goals)
CRONULLA SHARKS 24
Curtis Scott, , Daniel Vasquez, Jesse Savage, Kyle Flanagan tries; Jack Williams 4 goals
CANBERRA RAIDERS 28
Tre Williams, William Samuel, Stanley Takalua, Nick Cotric, Jake Notaras tries; Andre Niko, Cotric 3 goals
To see the competition ladders, click on the following links.