Match Report: Dominant Sharks return to winning ways
The Sharks have fired back into the race for the Minor Premiership, scoring a 37 points to 12 win over the Sydney Roosters.
Down by 12 inside the game’s opening quarter, the Sharks rallied to score 37-unwanswered points, in an impressive return to winning ways.
Roosters five-eighth Connor Watson opened the night’s scoring when he went in to cross at the Northern end, with the pivot jinking at the line to shrug off would-be tacklers.
Latrell Mitchell slotted the conversion from adjacent to the posts, as the Roosters shot out to a 6-point front.
Six soon became 10 as Mitchell collected a cross-field bomb to score, and the winger made no mistake from the tee second time around to send the Roosters out by 12.
Down by a dozen but showing signs of fight, the hosts quickly hit back through an unlikely candidate in Matt Prior, who powered his way to the line.
Prior’s four-pointer came as just rewards for his hard-hitting impact in the middle of the park, with James Maloney converting the goal to reduce the margin to six once more.
Sustained pressure heading into the half’s back end would see the Sharks cross a second time, with Ben Barba slicing through to score.
Maloney again converted the try, to draw the scores level at 12.
Looking likely to go into the sheds at 12-apiece, the Sharks rolled the dice on the final play of the first half and came up trumps – Maloney nailing a long range field goal as the siren sounded for half time.
Buoyed by the close of the first period, the Sharks came out for the second half with plenty of power and punch.
Gerard Beale crossed to send the Sharks out by four – and then six – as the hosts began to take ascendency of the match.
A determined effort close to the line saw Paul Gallen cross for a try, before Jayson Bukuya notched the side’s fifth of the night.
Maloney remained flawless with the boot throughout, as the Sharks rocketed to a 31-12 lead.
Valentine Holmes put icing on the cake with his 70th minute try, before Michael Ennis bid farewell to his home backers in fine fashion – slotting a penalty goal to round out the last of the scoring.