Young Sharks hang on
The first half performance was one of their best 40 minutes of the season, the second period maybe not so good, however in the final wash up the NYC Sharks have hung on to claim an important two competition points with a 34-32 win over the St George Illawarra Dragons.
The Sharks ran roughshod over their highly-rated opponents in the opening half, establishing a 24-point lead, before a combination of a desperate Dragons outfit and a Cronulla team who may have dropped their guard, resulted in a frantic finish.
After moving to within two points with five minutes left on the clock what had seemed an unlikely Dragons win was on the cards, but time ran out on their challenge as the Sharks registered their 12th win of the 2016 season.
The Dragons managed to post first points in the ninth minute of the match, but from that point on the first haft was all the Sharks.
Sione Katoa, continuing his recent run of form, crossed twice, five eighth Rhys Davies went over for a clever try after winning the race to his own grubber kick and when Eddie Faulua crashed to make it 22-4, before another four-pointer just before the break made it 28-4 to the Sharks who were well in control.
With their pride dented the Dragons came out of half time breathing fire, two tries in the first 10 minutes giving them a glimmer of hope at 28-14, however when Davies sliced through for his second, converted by Bessie Aufaga Toomaga, at 34-14 the result seemed a forgone conclusion.
Even when the Dragons scored in the 60th minute to make it 34-20 it still seemed as if the Sharks were comfortable but the St George Illawarra side was far from finished.
A try to boom fullback Matt Dufty was six to go bridged the gap to just eight and when they went over again in the next set of six, the try converted from wide out, at 34-32 Sharks coach John Morris was in for an anxious final few minutes.
To the credit of the Sharks they settled, kept their composure and battled hard, holding off the fast-charging Dragons to claim a narrow victory, with the two points all but assuring them of a finals berth with still three games remaining.
With an inferior for-and-against despite drawing level on 29 competition points with the Dragons and following a win earlier in the day by the Tigers the Sharks will likely remain in seventh place on the NYC ladder.
Next assignment for the NYC Sharks is a match against the Rabbitohs next Monday night.
Rhys Davies 2, Sione Katoa 2, Eddie Faulua, Jayden Brailey tries, Bessie Aufaga-Toumaga 5 goals