The Cronulla Sharks have scored a 34 points to 24 win over the Parramatta Eels, notching a twelfth successive win and rewriting the Club’s record books in the process.
The Sharks were made to work for the win, as the Eels raced to an 18-nil lead inside the opening quarter.
But down by 10 points in the opening stages against the Warriors in Round 16, the Sharks would not fret to quickly find themselves in arrears –as tries to Bevan French in the 5th and 13th minutes setting the tone for the Eels early.
A familiar face in Michael Gordon reminded the Sharks faithful of his talents, converting the opening two tries to take the Eels to a 12-point front.
Needing to muscle up in the middle, the Sharks were again exposed when Danny Wicks crossed for the Eels’ third try near on the 20th minute mark.
Gordon remained perfect with the boot, as the Eels shot out to an 18-nil lead.
Though deterred by the early setbacks, the Sharks would find their feet as the 19,42-strong home crowd found their collective voice.
Working the ball into a good attacking area for a first shot at the Eels defence, the Sharks proved too slick when Sosaia Feki crossed for the side’s first points.
Feki capped off a well-worked backline shift, to touch down for points in the North Western corner of Southern Cross Group Stadium.
James Maloney couldn’t convert, as the Sharks remained 14 points in arrears.
Two tries in the space of six minutes to Ricky Leutele and Gerard Beale respectively had the Sharks right back in the fight, as Maloney slotted one of the two plus a penalty goal in the 40th minute to send the Sharks into the sheds trailing by just two.
The second period started much the same as the first finished, as the Sharks again crossed for points when Leutele bagged his brace.
Maloney added the extra two, as the Sharks took the lead for the first time in the match.
22 points to 18 the score would remain for a large part of the second half, as the side’s got into the grind and the rush of points ceased.
As time ticked away, Beale crossed for his second of the night to put the Sharks out by ten.
Looking to have done enough to earn the two points, the hosts would be made to grind out the last five minutes as French crossed for his hat trick to reduce the margin to four once more.
But the returning Feki would have the last say of the night, steam-rolling Gordon to cross for his second, and sending the Sharks to an 8-point lead as the siren sounded.
Maloney added the extra two, as the Sharks rounded out a 10-point win, and the side’s 12th victory in a row.