Junior Sharks march on

After scoring contrasting victories over the North Sydney Bear yesterday, the Matthews Cup and SG Ball Sharks both moved closer to consolidating Finals positions. 

The Matthews Cup Sharks were relentless in crossing for 11 tries in a 58-6 rout of the Bears, before their SG Ball counterparts were forced to battle all the way to the final whistle in registering an 18-12 triumph. 

The wins left the Matthews Cup team in fifth place with two regular season matches remaining, while the SG Ball Sharks are in fourth and almost certain of taking part in the Finals in three weeks time. 

The Matthews Cup match began with the Sharks scoring in just the fifth minute after Jake Biggs crossed and when Jordan Samrani and Harrison Cox managed four-pointers shortly after, it was obvious the home team might have too much firepower for their opponents. 

And that would be the case, with the under-16 Sharks totally dominant, young forward Billy Burke crossing for four tries in the win, with Cox notching a double. 

On the back of a disappointing performance the previous week against the Eels it was the perfect bounce-back for the Sharks who now face a crucial game with the Balmain Tigers next weekend. 

The SG Ball match that would follow seemed to be tracking on a similar path, with the Sharks scoring four first half tries as they took a commanding 18-0 lead to the half time break. 

However just when the crowd at Southern Cross Group Stadium were expecting a similar result to the Matthews Cup game, the Bears had other ideas, mounting a strong second half comeback. 

The North Sydney boys crossed for two converted tries through a combination of their strong play and far too many errors committed by the Sharks, as they narrowed the margin to six points. But in the end the Sharks were good enough to defend their line on a number of occasions in confirming the win and claiming the two competition points. 

The lacklustre second half performance was a wake up call for the under-18 Sharks, who had been outstanding through the first six rounds of the competition in recording five wins and just one loss, with the two rounds now remaining.

The SG Ball Sharks will play the Balmain Tigers at Southern Cross Group Stadium next Friday as the curtain-raiser to the Sharks v Melbourne Storm NRL match.

The Taraha Gale Sharks play today against the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium.

MATTHEWS CUP
SHARKS 58
Billy Burke 4, Harrison Cox 2, Douglas Levi, Jordan Samrani, Dan Courtney, Jake Biggs, Jackson Lenzo tries, Samrani 7 goals
Beat
BEARS 6

SG BALL 
SHARKS 18
Eliah Veikoso, Vito Tevaga, Angus Ernst, Declan Casey tries, Kai Broadhurst goal
beat
BEARS 12