The Matthews Cup Sharks have survived a spirited challenge from a talented Sea Eagles outfit to record their fifth win of the season to remain undefeated and towards the top of the competition table.
The under-16 Sharks, who have a draw to go with their five victories, proved too good in the second half for the Manly side in claiming a 28-10 win
While the final scoreline may have indicated a comfortable win, it was anything but that as the Sharks were made to work hard for the two competition points.
In a physical first half the Sharks squandered a handful of opportunities and it was Manly who would post the only points, a try to centre Max Lehmanm converted by halfback Harry Wilson making it 6-0 to the Sea Eagles after the opening 30-minutes.
The Sharks however returned after the break with a renewed enthusiasm, with front rowers Franklin Pele and Redford Tiatia running hard and putting their team on the front foot.
From their the skill players took advantage, hooker Isaac Longmuir diving over from dummy half for the Sharks first points.
The conversion attempt from Kai Broadhurst bounced off the upright but the Sharks had a spring in their step at 6-4 down.
A Pele charge from close range resulted in the Sharks second try, before a 30-metre solo effort from Angus Ernst resulted in the third try for the young Cronulla side.
Broadhurst booted both goals and the Sharks had kicked away at 16-6 in front.
Manly responded with eight minutes to go to make it 16-10 but from their the Sharks wouldn’t be denied, a second to Ernst after the halfback was Johnny-on-the-spot after a kick rebound, before Broadhurst crashed over on the stroke of full time for his teams fifth try.
It was a win which was hard-earned for the Sharks but in a match of high intensity was a performance that should give them a shot of confidence moving into the business end of the season.
The Sharks move to 11 points, one behind leaders Parramatta who also had a victory today to remain on top of the points table.
The Sharks are at home again next weekend when they play the Balmain Tigers at Southern Cross Group Stadium.
Angus Ernst 2, Kai Broadhurst, Isaac Longmuir, Franklin Pele tries, Broadhurst 4 goals
Max Lehmann, Tom Latu tries, Harry Wilson goal
After weathering an early storm the SG Ball Sharks have gone on with the job in the second half to run away with a 46-6 win over the Manly Sea Eagles.
The Sharks scored through Jaemon Salmon off their first set of six but for the next 20-odd minutes of the contest the Manly side provided some stern resistance, with the teams locked at 6-points all after 23 minutes of the match.
It took a clever backline movement to break the deadlock, winger Isaac Lumelume crossing wide out, Kyle Flanagan converting from touch, giving the Sharks some breathing space at 12-6 in front.
Jackson Ferris, the SG Ball’s leading try-scorer then showed his impressive speed and footwork to score the first of his two tries on the day to make it 16-6, before the Flanagan kick at goal extended the margin to 12.
Manly would scramble in defense to hold the Sharks at bay for the remaining eight minutes of the half but the home team could smell blood despite not adding to their advantage before the break.
After returning from the sheds the Sharks would lift a gear and prove far too good for the visiting Sea Eagles, five more tries running up the score and leaving the Cronulla team well placed with just three rounds remaining.
The Sharks move to 10 points from five wins and one loss and sit in second place, trailing only the competition-leading Illawarra Steelers.
Both Cronulla teams are at home again next weekend when they host the Balmain Tigers.
Jackson Ferris 2, Jaemon Salmon 2, Isaac Lumelume, Chris Tupou, Luke Metcalf, Dean Tatsis tries, Kyle Flanagan 7 goals
Ben Benjamin try, Luke Polselli goal