NYC Match Report: Sharks 20s hit back
In a game matching two teams fighting for a top eight berth, the NYC Sharks have emerged victorious after a gutsy second half defensive effort.
After the teams went to half time all tied up, one Sharks try in the second half would be enough to seal the result, a 24-18 win which keep the young Cronulla side firmly entrenched in the finals race.
The Sharks began well when NYC debutant Isaac Lumelume took advantage of a fumble by the Knights fullback to cross in the south-eastern corner and when halfback Rhys Davies slotted the conversion the home team had an early 6-0 lead.
That margin was stetched to 10 when Jesse Savage crashed over in a similar part of the field but as can be their failing at times the Sharks clocked off, with the Knights scoring twice out wide, both tries converted in the swirling winds and the Newcastle side was in front 12-10.
Again the Sharks poked their noses in front, when Sione Katoa went over after a clever exchange of passing and it was Cronulla up 14-12 during a topsy-turvey first half.
The Knights went over again, inches in from the corner post and when the well struck kick at goal sailed over it was 18-14, a score which looked likely to be the half time ledger.
The Sharks however marched down the field and it was Katoa again touching down for his teams fourth four-pointer of the half and it was 18-all at the break with the teams having everything to play for over the next 40-minutes.
The second half featured errors from both teams, with the Sharks having the better of play but squandering numerous scoring chances, but their persistence finally paid off but it took then 34minutes to break the deadlock.
Capitalising on their territorial advantage it was Savage going over over for his second after a determined charge from close range.
On the field as a late second half replacement Kyle Flanagan kicked the conversion and it was 24-18 Sharks with less than five minutes of the match remaining.
The Knights had one final shot, looking a chance to level up, however when fullback Will Kennedy denied them with a desperate defensive play the points would be going to the Sharks.
While the second half was at times scrappy Sharks coach John Morris would have been pleased with his teams defense in the second half in keeping their opponents scoreless.
For the Sharks Katoa was dangerous out on the wing, Savage ran hard throughout and hooker and captain Jayden Brailey was his usual busy self.
The NYC Sharks move to 25 points in consolidating their place inside the top eight.
Sione Katoa 2, Jesse Savage 2, Isaac Lumelume, tries, Rhys Davies, Kyle Flanagan goals
Def. Knights 18