NYC Sharks outlast the Storm
Playing Melbourne at Sunshine Coast Stadium in Queensland was a different type of assignment for the NYC Sharks but it turned out to be a positive road trip with the young Cronulla side returning home with the two competition points.
In a match of differing fortunes the Sharks would jump out 18-points in front, surrender that lead in the second half, before proving too strong, with their 36-22 victory the fourth in six starts for the Sharks Holden Cup side.
The Sharks would begin the match well enough, an early try to Billy Magoulias from a Kyle Flanagan grubber put them up 6-0 and for the next 20-odd minutes neither side was able to post points with errors and determined defence dominating.
However, with half time approaching the Sharks would be rewarded for their persistence and patience with two tries, the first to back rower Ryan King from another Flanagan kick, before the second came when the Cronulla half back would score one of his own, this time on the end of a Magoulias cut out pass.
Flanagan, who would finish the afternoon with a personal tally of 20 points, was on target with all three of his first half conversion attempts and the Sharks would go to the break up by 18-0.
As can happen however in Holden Cup matches the momentum changed very quickly, partly due to the Sharks showing no respect for the football and almost before they knew it the Storm had established a 22-18 advantage.
Despite now facing a deficit the Sharks stuck to their guns, Flanagan, Blayke Brialey and Bessie Aufaga-Toonaga scoring second half tries and the Sharks would claim an important victory.
With the win the Sharks leapfrogged the Storm on the Holden Cup ladder and moved into third place, setting up a blockbuster clash with the competition-leading Penrith Panthers next Sunday afternoon.
Kyle Flanagan 2, Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga, Blayke Brailey, Billy Magoulias, Ryan King tries, Flanagan 6 goals