Junior Sharks advance
Two outstanding victories by the SG Ball and Matthews Cup Sharks have seen them advance to the second found of the junior rep finals.
The Matthews Cup Sharks, who finished fifth after the regular home and away season, dominated throughout in beating Manly by 34-18, while in the SG Ball the Sharks turned around a loss to the Eels earlier in the year by winning a heart-stopper 25-24 to progress to another knockout match against the Canberra Raiders.
In the Matthews Cup the under-16 Sharks went to the break 24-12 ahead and did more than enough in the second half to set up a match with the Western Suburbs Magpies next weekend.
"Semisi Kioa was very good for us and they just couldn't handle him or our forwards," Vinh Tran, Sharks Development Officer said. "We set the tone early and they were never really in it."
Luke Metcalf scored two tries, with the teams leading try scorer in 2015 Bronson Xerri also getting across the stripe in the Sharks win.
In the SG Ball it was a game the Sharks had under control, before a Parramatta fight back in the second half set up what was a thrilling finish.
With their 24-10 half-time lead having evaporated, the Sharks defended grimly to hold the Eels out before five eighth Kyle Flanagan knocked over a field goal from a difficult angle to give his team a one point lead with just three minutes remaining.
Despite a few anxious moments the Sharks were able to hold on progress to the second week of the SG Ball finals.
"They took a kick at penalty goal to level the score at 24-all, which probably suited us at the time. The Eels then missed a shot at field goal with 10 to go, a very good Jaiden Brown kick got us down the other end of the field, then Kyle slotted his field goal," Tran explained the exciting finale.
"It wasn't an easy one. It was to the left and a little bit wider than they would have liked."
The Ball Sharks now play Canberra after the Raiders were beaten 34-16 by the Manly Sea Eagles in the 1 v 4 qualifying final.
Both matches next Saturday are to be played at Campbelltown Stadium, with the Sharks v Wests Matthews Cup game kicking off at 12.30pm, with the SG Ball to follow at 2.00pm.
Cronulla Sharks 34 (Luke Metcalf 2, Bronson Xerri, Semisi Kioa, Fine Kula, Tamati McCausland tries; Metcalf 5 goals) bt Manly Sea Eagles 18 (Jayden Burgess, Sam Verrills, Sateki Latu tries; Cooper Johns 3 goals)
Cronulla Sharks 25 (Billy Magoulias 2, Brock Ilett, Curtis Scott tries; Jack Williams 4 goals; Kyle Flanagan field goal) bt Parramatta Eels 24 (Anthony Layoun 3, Simon Fonua tries; Fonua 4 goals)
Photo - Steve Montgomery/ourfootyteam.com - Billy Magoulias scores for the Sharks in the SG Ball.