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The Cowboys would open the scoring when debutant Brett Anderson went over in the right-hand corner in the 13 minute.

The conversion attempted was unsuccessful and the score remained 4-0.

On the back of their early four pointer, the Cowboys went over for another try when Kalyn Ponga went over for his first try of the night in the 19th minute. The conversion was again unsuccessful and the scored remained 8-0.

The Cowboys continued their point-scoring run when an opportunist Kalyn Ponga picked up a dropped ball from William Kennedy and scooted away to scored under the posts.

Ponga converted his own try and the score went out to 14-0.

The Sharks needed to rally and rally they did, as Will Kennedy pierced through a soft Cowboys defensive line and score next to the sticks. Flanagan’s conversion attempted hit the uprights and the score would remain 14-4

It was now the Sharks turn to go on a point scoring run, as Eddie Faalua was injected to the game and made an instant impact, crashing over from close range to get his side back in the game.

Flanagan converted the try and the score went to 14-10.

Flying Sharks winger Sione Katoa, who has been in sensational try scoring form in 2017, put the after-burners on and found space on the right side of the field.

The winger turned the defence inside out and found his centre partner Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga flying on his inside who would cross the line for the Sharks. Flanagan’s conversion from the sideline was successful and the Sharks went ahead by two at 16-14.

When the sides returned from the break, the Cowboys put first points on the board for the half when Michael Carroll followed up his own grubber kick to touch down right before the dead ball line. Carroll converted his own try and put the away side ahead 20-16.

In true NYC fashion, the points came through thick and fast, with the Cowboys scoring once more this time through Nathan Traill. The conversion was unsuccessful and the score remained at 24-16.

Needing a lucky break, the Sharks were fortunate enough to be awarded two penalties in quick succession and were off up the field.

Jack Williams received the ball close to the line and took it on, before turning in a soft short ball to Aufaga-Toomaga who went over for his second try of the night.

Flanagan made no mistake with the kick and the score would be the Cowboys still leading 24-22 after 58 minutes.

With confidence flying high, the Sharks once again camped themselves deep in Cowboys territory. Blayke Brailey scooped the ball up out of dummy half and found a rampaging Zach Faulkner close to the line who would barge over for a Sharks try.

Flanagan again made no mistake with the kick and the Sharks went into the lead 28 points to 24 with 15 minutes left in the game.  

The Sharks continued to keep a tight hold on the match, when Sione Katoa looked to have butchered a certain try in the right corner by taking the defensive line only to prove too strong for the Cowboys and cross for his first try of the night.

Flanagan’s conversion from the sideline was as straight as an arrow, going straight through the uprights to get the Sharks to a 34-24 point lead with 10 minutes remaining.

The points just kept on coming at Southern Cross Group when Katoa went in for his second try of the night when he streaked away to go in under the sticks.

Flanagan kicked his sixth conversion of the night and put the Sharks out to a 40-24 lead.

The Sharks held on for the win and continued their run of good form in 2017.

Cronulla Sharks 40: Aufaga-Toomaga (2), Katoa (2), Kennedy, Faalua, Faulkner tries. Flanagan 4/5 convs.


North Queensland Cowboys 24

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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