After a promising first period of the game the Sharks have been overrun in the final wash-up in going down by 38-10 to the Bulldogs in their round 20 match at Belmore Sports Ground.
In before what was perhaps the biggest crowd most of the 20’s players on both teams had played in front of, the Sharks fell away badly in the second half as the Bulldogs kept their finals hopes alive with the impressive win.
The match began with the visiting Cronulla side on the front foot as the first 30-odd minutes went according to plan, their positional advantage converted into a 10-0 lead.
The first try came on the left flank when Josh Add-Carr went over, with the Sharks second to Semisi Vea on the opposite wing courtesy of some smart lead-up work from centre Curtis Scott.
Ryan Cummins was successful with the second of the two conversions in giving the Sharks a handy lead.
Unfortunately that was as good as it got for the Sharks.
A converted try to the Bulldogs before half time reduced the margin to four points and while the Sharks would have gone to the break with a positive attitude, they returned to an onslaught from the home team.
The Sharks lead was quickly erased with a try to five-eighth Brad Keighran and that would be as close as the score they would get.
Running with the aid of a strong north-westerly breeze the Bulldogs dominated the last half hour of the contest, five more tries seeing them record a convincing win.
The loss sees the Sharks now battling to remain in contention for a finals berth with some six weeks of the season remaining.
Their next match is against the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland next Saturday.
Semisi Vea, Josh Addo-Carr tries, Ryan Cummins goal