NRL MATCH REPORT | Sharks v Dragons
The Dragons showed exactly why they are sitting towards the top of the NRL ladder with an impressive display in the local derby match against the Sharks.
Building on a handy half time lead the Dragons dominated the second period, four more tries after the break seeing the final score at 42-6 in favour of home team in an extremely disappointing result for the Sharks.
The Dragons were on the board early when Gareth Widdop potted a 25-metre penalty goal and when the ensuing kick off when out on the full the home team would go back on the attack.
While the Sharks error looked to have provided an opportunity for the Dragons to score it would be the visitors to post points and it came from the vision and boot of a former St George junior.
Sensing an opportunity out wide Jack Bird kicked across field for fellow youngster Valentine Holmes, the Sharks winger winning the race to the ball and touching down wide out.
Michael Gordon slotted the sideline conversion and the Sharks led 6-2 after 10 minutes.
The Dragons would strike back on the end of a dubious penalty, with Josh Dugan displaying his class with a neat step to beat a couple of defenders to plant the ball adjacent to the uprights.
Widdop made no mistake with the kick and the Dragons had the lead once more at 8-6 in front some 19 minutes into the contest.
From that point both teams had their opportunities however it would be the Dragons to score next and add to their lead, a Mitch Rein dart out of dummy half resulting in a try for the hooker just first five from the half time break.
Dragons five eighth Widdop kicked the easy conversion and the Dragons would take a handy eight-point lead to the half time break.
With the Dragons on top the Sharks needed a big momentum shift and unfortunately they couldn’t make that happen, first it was Will Matthews scoring to make it 18-6, before the Widdop conversion, then a penalty goal extended it to 22-6 and the Sharks were facing an uphill battle.
A Jack De Belin try and the extra two points made it 28-6, before Peter Mata’utia crossed shortly after, with the Widdop conversion from the sideline rubbing salt into the wounds.
With still more than 15 minutes of the match to go the Dragons led 34-6 and the score line was becoming an embarrassing one for the Sharks and the Cronulla fans amongst the 18,000-strong crowd.
Winger Eto Nabuli made it even worse for the Sharks with a 76th minute try, the sideline conversion from Widdop, seeing the Dragons break the 40-point barrier.
Widdop would kick a further penalty goal, making it nine from nine on the day in an impressive display of kicking.
There were few positives to come from the match, however Michael Ennis and Wade Graham certainly tried hard in the 36-point loss.
The Sharks will go back to the drawing board tomorrow and being preparations for their next match which is against the Sydney Roosters at Remondis Stadium on Sunday.
Valentine Holmes try, Michael Gordon goal
Josh Dugan, Mitch Rein, Will Matthews, Jack De Belin, Peter Mata’utia, Eto Nabuli tries, Gareth Widdop 9 goals