Competition - NRL Premiership.
Date  -   August 13th 2016.
Teams - St Illawarra Dragons v Cronulla Sharks.
at - UOW  Stadium, Kograh.
Pic Grant Trouville @ NRL Photos.

5 Key Points: Sharks v Dragons

1.     Paul Gallen’s ‘out’ a big blow

Despite taking to the field for the side’s warm-up, Paul Gallen was ruled a late out with a calf complaint, and forced to watch on from the sidelines.

Gallen’s presence and leadership in the middle of the park was sorely missed, in light of the best efforts of his team mates.

Averaging close to 160 metres per game this season, the Sharks missed their Skipper’s work when it mattered most.

 

2.     Valentine Holmes edged closer to an all-time great

Scoring the first try of the night, and his 17th of the year, Holmes equalled David Peachey’s record of 17 tries in a regular season.

Peachey (1999 season) went on to score another two in his side’s finals push for a total of 19 that year, though with three competition matches to play – plus finals matches – Holmes looks likely to make the record his own.

 

3.     Ben Barba’s brilliance was again on show

Barba again showed his pace and presence to cross for the side’s second try against the Dragons, before laying on Ricky Leutele’s second half four pointer.

Though playing in a side outplayed for large parts of the final 40 minutes, Barba’s pace meant was was always a threat when with the ball in hand.

 

4.     Dragons late muscle was hard to match

A second half surge from the hosts through the middle of the field – lead by enforcer Tariq Sims – set the tone for the back end of match, following the change of ends.

The Dragons, with the backing of a strong home crowd, proved a beast too tough to tame.

 

5.      Sharks urged to ‘stay tight’ after a tough night away from home

Sharks Coach Shane Flanagan and stand-in Captain Wade Graham fronted the press in the wake of the side’s loss, saying the side must hang tight after consecutive defeats.

Fronting up to the Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium next Monday night, Flanagan says the side will come together in camp throughout the next week, and focus on making return to winning ways.