De La Salle Caringbah has maintained its undefeated Cronulla-Sutherland Junior League Open Gold Division season, scoring a resounding 32-6 win over Kurnell in an NRL curtain-raiser at Southern Cross Group Stadium.
On a gusty afternoon in the Sutherland Shire, De La Salle mixed dazzling attack with uncompromising defence in a brilliant six-try performance that affirmed the team's standing as the benchmark in the local Cronulla A-Grade competition.
It took only 30 seconds for the ladder leaders to post first points. Fullback Blake Bouzounis sliced through a gap from the kick-off and dashed 60 metres downfield before a linking with a motoring Andrew Faddy in support.
Nathan Fletcher had no troubles with conversion and De La Salle was out to a 6-nil lead in the blink of an eye.
Minutes later winger Tyler McIlroy etched his name onto the score sheet, streaking down the right touchline for a four-pointer following a slick backline shift. Fletcher added the extra two points from out wide as De La Salle skipped further ahead.
De La refused to let up on Kurnell, notching the third try of the match through left winger Billy Lennon. Receiving the ball just inside the Stingrays' half, Lennon showed scorching speed and deft footwork to burn several defenders and find his way to the line.
Fletcher unluckily struck the upright with his conversion attempt and the ball bounced away, the score remaining 16-nil to De La Salle.
The Stingrays' day soon got even worse, kicking the ball out the full on the restart. On the back of the ensuing penalty, De La Salle crashed over again with a well-worked sweep move that saw Bouzounis force his way into the in-goal.
The conversion was successful and De La Salle would carry a hefty 22-point advantage into half-time.
Kurnell wouldn't roll over in the second stanza though, competing admirably in what was a much fairer reflection of the gulf between the sides.
The Stingrays enjoyed heavy possession after the break in De La's 'red-zone', but were unable to break through the committed defence until the 50th minute via lock Jason Hughes.
A rampaging Hughes burst through multiple would-be tacklers in a determined carry to claim a fantastic solo try. The Kurnell goal-kick was on target and the margin was reduced to 16.
It wouldn't stay that way for long, however, with De La Salle putting the result to bed with a converted try under the posts courtesy of halfback Sam Cooper.
With 10 minutes left, Jordan Bichan added to Kurnell's pain when he swooped on a deflected grubber kick from Cooper and touched down – completing a convincing victory for De La Salle.
NOTE: The game was shown live and can now be viewed on the Sharks Facebook page. CLICK HERE to see the match vision