The NYC Sharks’ undefeated run to the season has come to an end at the hands of the Wests Tigers in their round five clash at Campbelltown Stadium.
Trailing by 16 points at the break, the Sharks battled hard in stages during the second period and a similar comeback to the one they mounted just five days earlier appeared on the cards, however they had given their opponents too much start, eventually falling 42-24 to slip to 3-1 from their four matches to date.
The Sharks started the match in fine form, crossing through lock forward Jayden McDonogh to open the scoring.
McDonogh finished off a simple set play close to the line, with hooker Jayden Brailey the provider as the Sharks raced to a 6-nil lead.
After slotting the conversion from the side-line, Sharks centre Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga then showed his wares in defence – cutting down the Tigers close to the try line to save a certain try.
The Tigers though, not deterred with being turned away at their first time of asking, would continue to apply pressure as the possession and momentum of the match soon swung dramatically in their favour.
The hosts would soon cross for their first points of the match, as back-rower Esan Marsters scored adjacent to the posts.
To make no mistake from the tee, Mapesone would level the scores at 6-apiece after 13 minutes played.
The Tigers’ run wouldn’t end there, with the hosts crossing for another two tries in the space of six minutes to shoot out to a commanding 16-6 lead.
Trailing by 10 points just three minutes before the break, Coach John Morris would have been relatively happy due to the fact his side had next to no ball throughout the first period but as their legs became weary though, the hosts would cross for two tries in quick succession to assert a first-half dominance.
Bailey Sironen (37th) and Samuel De Fiddes (40th) would notch four-pointers respectively, with Mapesone rounding out his first half with the boot having converted three from five as the Tigers pushed the score out to 26-6.
After what was likely another spirited half time address from coach Morris the Sharks responded, Justin Timu scoring through some soft Tigers defence, before Will Kennedy won the race to his own grubber kick to bring his side even closer.
Both tries were converted by Aufaga- Toomaga and the Sharks had some hope at 26-18.
But that would be as close as the young Sharks outfit would get, three more Tiger tries, as opposed to one from Sharks fullback Ryan Cummins who showed good speed and evasion to cross with six to go in the match and the Cronulla side had slipped to their first loss of the 2016 season.
Losing strike winger Sione Katoa and half back Rhys Davies to injury before the kick off, then five eighth Jack Williams to concussion during the first half didn’t help, however Morris would be concerned with his teams’ defence once again after they gave up 40 points the previous week despite scoring a victory over the Melbourne Storm.
The NYC Sharks now have an eight day turn around before facing the Gold Coast Titans in a match to be played at Southern Cross Group Stadium next Sunday afternoon.
NYC SHARKS 24
Jayden McDonogh, Justin Timu, Will Kennedy, Ryan Cummins tries, Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga 4 goals
WESTS TIGERS 42
Bayley Sironen 2, Samuel Defiddes, Obed Karwhin, Veiru Mapestone, Junior Tatola, Esan Marsters, Luke Sharpe tries, Mapesone 5 goals