Sharks roll Broncos for a sixth-straight win
The Sharks have hung on late to defeat a fast-finishing Broncos side 30 points to 28 at Southern Cross Group Stadium.
Up by 22 at the break, the Sharks were made to work for the points as the premiership favourites from Brisbane dug deep to ensure a classic finish.
In a first half with plenty of points, it was the Broncos first put the scorers to work, in the form of a penalty goal from Captain Corey Parker’s trusted right boot.
Not deterred, The Sharks would work the ball back into a good attacking area, and found the game’s first try as Sosaia Feki crossed in the South-Eastern corner.
Kicking into the teeth of a strong breeze, James Maloney couldn’t add the extras, as the score remained at 4-2.
The Sharks then went on to score their second of the afternoon via Captain Paul Gallen, who trailed an Ennis kicked to dive and touch down adjacent to the right hand upright.
A simpler task for Maloney, he made no mistake from the tee second time around, in taking the Sharks to a 10-2 front.
Jordan Kahu would soon hit back for the visitors, who edged back within four.
Parker though missed the conversion looking into the setting sun, as the Sharks held on to a 10-6 lead.
Playing an expansive, free-flowing style of footy against the competition leaders, the Sharks had their fans on their feet and again gave them reason to cheer in the 26th minute.
Maloney found a way to step, and weave, and clutch at the line off the back off a well-worked move in the middle, to score his fourth try in the space of five weeks.
Maloney converted his own try to take the Sharks out to 16-6, before Feki bagged a double inside the half-hour.
Chad Townsend rounded out a near-blemish free first half for his side in scoring on the stroke of the siren, as the Sharks took a 28-6 lead into the sheds.
Such was the warrant of Wayne Bennett’s men though, the Broncos came firing out of the blocks in the second period, having to wait just three minutes before finding their second try of the afternoon.
Corey Oates continued his recent run of fine form in finding the line once more, as Parker kicked the prevailing conversion.
It was game on when James Roberts made it back-to-back tries for the visitors, although Parker unable to add the extra two at the third time of asking.
So up by 12 with near-on 20 minutes to play, the Sharks opted to extend their lead beyond a two converted tries buffer when Maloney kicked for penalty
Raising the touch judges’ flags, the Sharks went out to a 30-16 point front, but that too was soon reduced to a margin of just eight.
Sam Thaiday crossed to see his side back into the thick of the action, as Parker also found the line to cut the Sharks lead to a nervous two points.
Asked to defend as the time ticked away, the Sharks hung tough to see it out until the final buzzer, hanging on to record the side’s sixth consecutive win.
CRONULLA SHARKS 30 –
(Tries: Feki (2), Gallen, Maloney, Townsend | Goals: Maloney (Conv. 4/5, Pen. 1/1)
def. BRISBANE BRONCOS 28 –
(Tries: Kahu, Oates, Roberts, Thaiday, Parker | Goals: Parker (Conv. 1/3, Pen. 1/1), Kahu (2/2)