In a spirited contest between two of the leading teams in the NYC competition the Sharks have scored an impressive 36-14 win over the St George Illawarra Dragons.
The Sharks built off a fast start, weathered a storm during the middle of the game then went on with the job in registering their second win in as many starts this season over their local rivals.
Isaac Lumelume started the scoring for the Sharks in just the second minute, running onto a short ball from Kyle Flanagan and straight over the top of his Dragons opponent and when Flanagan kicked the conversion from wide out it was 6-0 early.
A Dragons error gifted the young Cronulla side field position and again they would take advantage, Will Kennedy slicing through to plant the ball down adjacent to the posts.
Flanagan was again successful with the kick at goal and the Sharks were well on top at 12-0 just eight minutes into the contest.
From there however the match turned into something of an arm wrestle and a game more fitting of a clash between the second and third placed sides, with neither able to assert any authority for the remainder of the first half.
While tries were hard to come by in the opening 40 the Dragons only took two minutes to post their first score in the second, back rower TJ Uele crossing and with the try converted it was Sharks 12-6.
After weathering a couple of Dragons attacking raids the Sharks responded, marched back down the opposite end of the field and it was Briton Nikora with a determined charge who would get the ball down and extend Cronulla’s lead.
Flanagan was again on target and it was 18-6 with 25 minutes of the match remaining.
The Sharks would push the lead out further and it came from a perfectly weighted Blayke Brailey kick with Flanagan easily winning the race to the ball to touch down.
The kick was successful and the Sharks had some breathing room at 24-6 as the game moved into the final quarter.
The Dragons battled back, Matheson Johns scoring after some clever play from his five eighth Tristan Sailor to give themselves some hope at 24-10 win nine minutes left on the clock but when Billy Magoulias ran through a yawning gap to score shortly after the points were heading the way of the Sharks.
The Dragons would score a consolation try late, converted from wide out before Johnathan Tufuga put the icing on the cake as the fulltime siren was sounding in the background.
Flanagan slotted the kick at goal from the western touchline to finish a perfect six from six on the night and round out the scoring with the Sharks 36-14 victors.
With the win the Sharks moved to 15 competition points, leapfrogging the Dragons and going level with competition leaders the Panthers. Depending on the result of the Penrith game later this weekend the Sharks could find themselves on top of the NYC ladder.
Briton Nikora, Will Kennedy, Isaac Lumelume, Kyle Flanagan, Billy Magoulias, Johnathan Tufuga tries, Kyle Flanagan 6 goals
TJ Uele, Matheson Johns, Trent Peoples tries, Zac Lomax 2 goals