5 KEY POINTS | Sharks v Storm
1. Brilliant Ben Barba back and full of confidence once more.
Ben Barba scored a try last night that only he could – a swift, a swerve and the speed to boot, Barba left his opposite number Cameron Munster clutching at air as he turned back the clock to 2012.
Barba backed up his work done in attack with his defence too – a last-ditch save, late in the game sealing a win for the side, and putting his hand up to take all three Dally M points in the process.
2. Jack Bird too fast, too agile for his opposite man in Tohu Harris.
Jack Bird showed time and time again last night he was too quick and nippy for his opposite number in Tohu Harris, who was shifted to the centres following the injury to Curtis Scott.
Bird ran for in excess of 130 metres from his 14 carries, while always looking a threat on the side’s right edge.
If not for the final pass going to ground on three occasions, Bird could have easily have had a handful of try assists to his name, in showing his shift from five-eighth to centre is tracking nicely for Coach Shane Flanagan.
3. Townsend again the dominant half as the side continues to find its balance.
James Maloney’s hand in Ben Barba’s try was backed up by the brilliance of his halves partner in Chad Townsend, whose supporting play was rewarded with a try upon the resumption of play after half time.
Townsend again looked likely when he took on the line, while also proving more than capable in defence also.
Maloney though had an improved showing – running the ball on nine occasions while slotting 3 goals from 4 attempts on the night.
4. Sam Tagataese showed signs of his dominant best.
A rampaging Sam Tagataese broke the line once more versus the Storm, while running for 153 metres from his 13 carries last night.
‘Taga’s’ impact of the interchange bench is proving more than a handful for opposition defences, with the Tigers set to be put on notice as the hard-running forward has more metres in his sights next Saturday afternoon.
5. Beale not used in the 80 minutes, but the Sharks not found out as big men muscle up.
Gerard Beale did not see any of the action last night, with the utility back a permanent fixture on the Sharks bench across the 80 minutes.
Doubters had questioned Coach Flanagan’s selection choice in recent weeks, but Beale’s presence proved handy in the side’s defeat to Manly as Bird went down injured early.
Thankfully for the side, and perhaps a little unluckily for Beale, there were no injuries to the outside backs versus the Storm, as Flanagan’s forward rotation more than handled the questions asked of them by Melbourne's middle men.