The stats that mattered

The stats that mattered

The Sharks fourth win in-a-row would also be their sixth in succession against the Raiders in Canberra. Traditionally a tough road trip, the Sharks have found somewhat of a 'home away from home' at GIO Stadium, getting the job done year after year.

Not to be outdone though, the Raiders have momentum of their own against the Sharks, with three wins at Southern Cross Group Stadium from their last three starts.

Trailing at half-time by eight, the injury ravaged Sharks dug deep to record a gritty win on the back of some inspiring performances.

Let's take a look.

Andrew Fifita

What an absolute mammoth effort from captain Andrew Fifita, playing the entire 80 minutes even though he was severely restricted at training throughout the week with bone bruising on his knee.

In what can only be described as one of the best efforts from a front-rower I've seen in a long time, Andrew stood up and lead by example, relishing in his role as the team's fearless leader.

He notched up an incredible 51 tackles, 175 metres, 6 tackle breaks and 4 offloads, inspiring his side to a hard fought victory.

 

Valentine Holmes

Valentine Holmes certainly silenced the naysayers with a hand in three of the Sharks four tries including two dazzling long-range efforts in the number one jersey on Sunday.

Out to redeem his Origin spot, Holmes put on a show for the Sharks faithful in Canberra.

In just his 89th game, Val scored his 50th (& 51st) try against the Raiders, becoming the second fastest Sharks player to 50 tries. He sits only behind Mat Rogers, who he could've sat equal with had last week's long-range effort not been called back.

We've heard from plenty of people with varying opinions on where Holmes' best position is, but on Sunday he stood up to remind everyone not to write him off as a first-class Fullback.

 

Jack Williams

Jack Williams' NRL debut couldn't have gone any smoother, with the young back-rower leaving it all on the field in an outstanding performance for the Sharks.

A former Canberra under-20's player, Jack returned to familiar territory with his family and friends in tow to put in a very memorable first hit out that included a try on debut.

Williams is just the second player to score a try on debut for the Sharks since 2011 (Stewart Mills), with young gun Jesse Ramien the only other with his 4-pointer against the Knights in Round 26 last year.

When Jack was injected into the action by Shane Flanagan you could tell from the outset he was ready to go. His first hit up was a strong and bustling charge through the middle that set the tone for the rest of his afternoon.

Only a few plays later Williams would jolt the ball free from his Raiders opponent in defence and three tackles later a Sharks penalty goal to Townsend would give them their first lead at 8-6 in the 24th minute of the match.

The Sharks have shown some great depth over the opening 10 rounds of competition, and this week was no different with both our debutants, Williams and ex-Cowboy Braden Uele, stepping up to the plate.

 

The Sharks return home this week to take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Sunday.

You can grab your tickets for the clash here.