In a brave effort against the second-placed Cowboys the NYC Sharks have gone down by 35-28 in their round 14 match played at Southern Cross Group Stadium.
The Sharks played some enterprising football in patches but lapses in defense at crucial stages allowed their opponents to get their noses in front and in the end run they proved just a little two good in registering their 10th win of the 2016 season.
It was a positive start for the Sharks when after just 10 minutes big winger Semisi Vea crashed over adjacent the posts.
Bessie Aufuga-Toomaga added the extras from close range and the Sharks had an early 6-0 advantage.
That lead however was short-lived with the visitors striking back soon after with a try in the north-western corner of Southern Cross Group Stadium and when five-eighth Cooper Bambling slotted the conversion from the sideline the teams were level at 6-points all.
From there the Cowboys asserted some dominance on the contest and two further tries in the first half pushed their lead out to 12 before a well worked move saw Sharks centre Lachlan Stein score 10 metres in from touch.
While the try was a positive a late shot on clever fullback Will Kennedy, who threw the last pass for the Sharks four-pointer, saw him take no further part in the game.
The Cowboys added a field goal before the break to make it 19-10 at half time, leaving the Sharks plenty of work to do in the second stanza.
Unfortunately for the home team the second period began poorly and two Cowboys scores, one converted, made it 29-10 meaning the Sharks were then facing un uphill battle.
To their credit the young Sharks didn’t give in, a try to big front rower Justin Timu, then another to back rower Ash Nisbet and a final try half back Rhys Davies bringing the final margin back to seven points in what was probably a fairer indication of the difference between the two teams.
For the Sharks, filling in at fullback for the injured Kennedy, Aufaga-Toomaga was busy, while 17-year-old Blayke Brailey came off the bench, acquitting himself well after replacing his brother Jayden at hooker late in the match.
The Sharks retained their place in the top eight despite the loss and with a game in hand against the Bulldogs next week after their game last Monday was cancelled due to the condition of ANZ Stadium.
The NYC Sharks will play the Bulldogs at Belmore Sports Ground on Saturday.
Rhys Davies, Ash Nisbet, Lachlan Stein, Semisi Vea, Justin Timu tries, Aufaga-Toomaga 4 goals
North Queensland 35