Young Sharks march into finals
In what represents an outstanding achievement for their junior representative and Tarsha Gale Cup programs the Sharks have qualified in the top two for the finals in each of the respective competitions.
The SG Ball Sharks led the way, a win over the Western Sydney Academy of Sport (WSAS) yesterday seeing them finish as minor premiers, with the Matthews Cup and Tarsha Gale both winding up in second position following the conclusion of the regular season.
The three Sharks teams now head into preliminary finals where victory would see them move to within one game of a Grand Final appearance while as a result of finishing in the top four, should they be unsuccessful in week one they would live to fight another day.
For the SG Ball Sharks they locked up the top seed for the finals with a 32-16 win over WSAS.
Five eighth Jaemon Salmon crossed for three tries for the Sharks and while coach Dave Howlett would have been satisfied with the win, the fact that WSAS scored the final two tries late in the contest to narrow the final margin would have been something of a disappointment.
The under 18 Sharks finished with one loss and seven wins from their eight matches and now play the only team to have beaten them this season, the Penrith Panthers, in week one of the finals.
In the Matthews Cup the Sharks closed out their season with an equally comfortable win over WSAS, scoring six tries to one in a 36-4 victory.
Centre Douglas Levi crossed twice for a Sharks team who like their SG Ball counterparts dropped just one game during the home and away season.
After finishing second the Sharks play the third placed Parramatta Eels, ironically like the SG Ball Sharks their opponents will be the only team to beat them this year.
In the Tarsha Gale match which opened the day at the St Mary’s Stadium, the Sharks had plenty to play for against a Panthers side pushing for a top four berth.
In the end it was the Sharks who snuck home in a closely fought contest, emerging 24-22 winning to lock down second position behind minor premiers the Canterbury Bulldogs.
Five eighth and captain Tayla Preston scored two tries, as did Akira Kelly in following on from a hat trick of four pointers the previous week.
The Tarsha Gale Sharks are now drawn to play the Illawarra Steelers in round one of the competition finals.
See below all the results and scorers from round nine matches and the week one finals draw.
Round 9 Results
Cronulla Sharks 32
Jaemon Salmon 3, Luke Metcalf, Isaac Longmuir, Ronaldo Mulitalo tries; L Metcalf 4 goals
Western Sydney Academy of Sport 16 (T May, T Piukana, A Dunlop tries; B Donovan 2 goals)
Cronulla Sharks 36
Douglas Levi 2, Eliah Veikoso, Jared Domazetovski, Kyle Pickering, Isaac Masima tries; Thomas Demeio 6 goals
def Western Sydney Academy of Sport 4
M Iaria try
TARSHA GALE CUP
Cronulla Sharks 24 (Tayla Preston 2, Akira Kelly 2, Quincy Dodd tries; Sophie Buller, Akira Kelly goals
Penrith Panthers 22
D Isaako, N Tu’ifua, C Ormsby, C Pio tries; A Harrison goal
FINALS WEEK ONE
North Sydney Oval – Thursday 13 April
Tarsha Gale Cup
4.15 pm Penrith v Sydney Indigenous Academy
5.15 pm Canberra v Souths (awaiting confirmation from Canberra)
Belmore Sportsground – Saturday 15 April – Times to be confirmed
10.00 am Canterbury v Parramatta – Tarsha Gale Cup
11.15 am Souths v Canberra – Harold Matthews
12.45 pm Roosters v Balmain – SG Ball
Leichhardt Oval – Saturday 15 April
10.00 am Cronulla v Illawarra – Tarsha Gale Cup
11.00 am Cronulla v Parramatta – Harold Matthews
12.30 pm Cronulla v Penrith – SG Ball
2.00 pm Parramatta v Canterbury – SG Ball
Hammondville Oval – Saturday 15 April
10.30 am Manly v Central Coast – Harold Matthews
12.00 pm Newcastle v Illawarra – Harold Matthews
1.30 pm Wests v Illawarra – SG Ball
See following photo galleries from yesterday's games, courtesy Steve Montgomery, ourfootyteam.com
Tarsha Gale Cup
Harold Matthews Cup
SG Ball Cup