The St George / Illawarra Dragons have scored a 32-points-to-18 win over the Sharks, in front of more than 13,000 fans at Kogarah Oval.
A second-half surge from the hosts had them out in front and well in control of the match for large parts, running out eventual five tries to three victors.
Such has been a feature of the Sharks’ play this season, Valentine Holmes set the Sharks into motion inside three minutes, when he nabbed a wayward pass to cross and score under the posts for the game’s first try.
The intercept play saw Holmes touch down for his 17th try of the season, with Maloney adding the extra two to send the Sharks out by six.
If not for a clutch tackle from Chad Townsend, Josh Dugan would have hit back within moments, but the half found a way to deny the Blues representative a four-pointer though over the line.
Despite Townsend’s efforts, it didn’t take the Dragons long to respond, as they went in for their first points courtesy of centre Euan Aitken.
Aitken collected a Benji Marshall chip to wrestle his way to the line, with Widdop converting to lock the scores at six.
In a first half dominated by end-to-end play and scramble defence, the Sharks found a way to hit back – and in style – to once more see the lead.
An early shift from inside their own 10 metres had the visitors streaming down field, with Sosaia Feki’s bust capped off in fine fashion by the support play of Ben Barba.
Maloney couldn’t add the two from the conversion attempt, though would extend the side’s lead to a converted try on the brink of the break courtesy of a penalty goal close to the posts.
The new half brought about a new wave of energy for the hosts, who came out from the half time break with an energy and an exuberance not seen in the first 40 minutes.
Tries to Mitch Rein in the 49th minute, before a double to Tariq Sims (51st, 59th) saw the Dragons shoot to a twelve-point front with 20 to play.
Ricky Leutele looked to get the Sharks back into the match with a try in the 61st minute, though Maloney’s failed conversion attempt saw the difference remain at 8.
A penalty goal soon after reduced the margin to just six, but the Dragons found an unassailable lead through Gareth Widdop’s late four pointer.
Widdop iced the 14-point margin for the hosts with an 80th minute penalty goal, consigning the Sharks to their first back-to-back losses of the season.