In easily their most committed performance of the 2016 season the NYC Sharks have registered a 32-6 victory over the Raiders at GIO Stadium in Canberra.
The Sharks showed some outstanding attacking skills however it was the resolute defense which would have pleased coach John Morris the most, with the young Cronulla side keeping their opponents scoreless until the Raiders managed an 80th minute try to break the drought.
The signs were good right from the start for the Sharks with Ash Nisbet opening the scoring in just the fifth minute, the back rower reaching out to touchdown after a determined charge at the line.
Bessie Aufuga-Toomaga converted and the Sharks had an early 6-0 lead.
Controlling play well in the early exchanges the Sharks marched back up the field and this time a well-timed backline move saw Sione Katoa go over wide out for his teams’ second.
This time the conversion was wide however the Sharks had a nice early advantage up 10-0.
That lead would be extended even further just three minutes later when Rhys Davies won the race to his own grubber kick to score and when Aufaga-Toomaga added the extras the visitors were on top 16-0.
After defending grimly at one end the Sharks would again be rewarded at the other, this time it was Josh Tuilagi finishing off a passing movement in taking the score out to 20-0, a lead they would take to the half time break.
Canberra revved up in the opening exchanges of the second half but the Sharks stood firm and once more their defensive attitude paid dividends at the opposite end of the field.
First it was prop Leon Tupuola crashing over adjacent to the posts, before Jaimin Jolliffe scored an equally determined try shortly after and when both were converted by Aufaga-Toomaga, at 32-0 the Sharks were as good as home.
The later stages of the match became somewhat scrappy as the Raiders threw everything at the Sharks in a bid to open their account and it would take a chip chase try from deep in their own end of the field with only seconds left on the clock for Canberra to finally cross the line.
The Sharks had too many strong performers to single out just a few, with Morris’s boys moving to a five wins from six matches record after what has been a solid start to the season.
The NYC Sharks are home for the next two weeks, beginning with a match next Sunday with the competition leading Penrith Panthers.
NYC SHARKS 32
Josh Tuilagi, Jaimin Jolliffe, Leon Tupuola, Rhys Davies, Sione Katoa, Ash Nisbet tries, Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga 4 goals