Sharks victorious over Eels
The Sharks bounced back from a last start loss with a 20-6 victory over the Parramatta Eels in their round four clash at ANZ Stadium.
It was far from perfect, with the Sharks again making more errors than the coach would have liked, but their patience and intensity was of a high enough standard as they got the money over a disappointing Parramatta team.
After weathering an early storm the Sharks were first on the board and it took some enterprising attack to break the Eels open.
The play started with a Matt Prior offload, the Sharks shifted the ball to the right and it was a Andrew Fifita one-handed pass which put Wade Graham into space. Graham raced away, drew the fullback and passed to rookie Jayden Brailey with the hooker dashing the final 20 metres to score.
James Maloney kicked the easy conversion and after 10 minutes the Sharks were up 6-0.
Both teams had their chances to score in the next period of the match, the Eels after a long break down the sideline, the Sharks after a Maloney pass was called back when Gerard Beale had appeared to dive over in the north-eastern corner but again it was the Sharks left hand side in attack which would come up trumps.
Poking through the line Graham popped up a floating pass to Ricky Leutele, the centre then turning Sosaia Feki inside for his wing partner to score.
Maloney was again on target and some 29 minutes into the contest the Sharks were up 12.
The score then looked likely to remain the same as half time approached, only for a Sharks error, then a fortuitous piece of luck for the Eels, a kick near the line bouncing favourably for the Parramatta side, and the David Gower try and Clint Gutherson conversion made it 12-6 at the break.
Maloney pushed the Sharks lead out to 8 points with an early penalty and it would be the same man to extend the lead even further, the five eighth diving between defenders after a Paul Gallen off-load.
He kept his perfect kicking record intact with the shot at goal from close range and the Sharks led 20-6 with 24 minutes of the match remaining.
The final period of the match was somewhat sloppy from both sides with fatigue and a desperate Eels side contributing to the untidy finish, but the Sharks had done enough over the opening 60-or-so minutes for them to claim the win.
James Segeyaro entered the contest in the 59th minute, replacing Brailey who was again solid in the middle of the field in what was a reasonable first outing in Cronulla colours.
Now at two wins and two losses from the opening month of the season the Sharks return home for a game with the Knights next Saturday.
Jayden Brailey, Sosaia Feki, James Maloney tries, James Maloney 4 goals
David Gower try, Clint Gutherson goal
Crowd – 17,003