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The 2017 Rugby League World Cup campaign is officially underway, and what a weekend of footy it was with all seven games providing plenty of entertainment for the fans.

We saw players from our 2017 squad in action across the weekend and kept a close eye on one of our 2018 recruits. 

There were some impressive stats to come out of the first round matches.


It all began on Friday with the Kangaroos overcoming a resilient English side to claim their first hard-fought win of the tournament.

For Sharks fans, both Valentine Holmes and Wade Graham continued on from their strong form at club level with a good first hit out in the green and gold.

What would have been equally as exciting was the game that 2018 recruit Josh Dugan played, notching up 271 metres in his 66 minutes on the paddock that included a line break and a try.

Coming off the pine for England departing Shark Chris Heighington did what he does best, ran hard and straight during his 30 minute stint.

(AUS) - Valentine Holmes: 80 minutes, 138 metres and 3 tackles.

(AUS) - Wade Graham: 32 minutes, 58 metres and 17 tackles.

(AUS) - Josh Dugan [2018 recruit]: 66 minutes, 271 metres, 8 tackles, 1 line break and 1 try

(ENG) - Chris Heighington: 30 minutes, 70 metres and 20 tackles.


Next up we saw a dominant performance from the Kumuls who took advantage of the humid conditions on home turf, piling on 10 tries in front of a sell-out crowd with Sharks hooker James Segeyaro playing a handy 56 minutes for the PNG side.

(PNG) James Segeyaro: 56 minutes, 98 metres, 14 tackles, 1 line break and 1 try assist.


A second half blitz from the Kiwis on Saturday night handed them victory against Samoa with Sharks utility Joseph Paulo and departing Shark Gerard Beale kickinf off their campaigns.

Samoa matched it with the Kiwis for the first 40 minutes, but appeared to tire in the second stanza.

In a cruel blow for Beale his World Cup campaign is officially over with confirmation he suffered a broken leg in the victory.

(SAM) - Joseph Paulo: 80 minutes, 33 metres, 14 tackles and 1 try.

(NZL) - Gerard Beale: 62 minutes, 80 metres and 9 tackles.


The luck of the Irish was on show on Sunday, with the Wolfhounds pulling off the first upset of the tournament stunning Italy 36-12 in Cairns.

Young Sharks back-rower Jayden Walker got on the park for the Italian side, putting in a solid effort off the bench in the stifling conditions.

(ITA) - Jayden Walker: 49 minutes, 76 metres and 14 tackles.


The final game of the round would see Tonga pile on the points against Scotland, wasting no time in showing the competition that they can match it with anyone.

The 50-4 win setting them up for what’s shaping to be one of the clashes of the tournament against Samoa in the second round.

Andrew Fifita was at his rampaging best for the Tongan side, hitting 148 metres in the sweltering conditions and exciting the Tongan fans who dare to dream!

(TON) - Andrew Fifita: 50 minutes, 148 metres and 15 tackles


The second round of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup begins on Friday with the Kangaroos lining up against France in Canberra.

Catch all of the action of every game on the Seven Network or use the 7Live website or mobile application to stream.

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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