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Sharks steal a win over the Warriors

The rugby league gods looked down favourably on the Sharks at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland with a 78th minute Edrick Lee try seeing the Cronulla side escape with an 18-15 win over the Warriors in their road 16 clash.

After the Warriors, one point in front and on the attack, had been denied a match-sealing try by the video referee, the Sharks marched down the field, had a potential game-tying field goal charged down, before Lee's last ditch heroics.

It was an extremely valuable win for the Cronulla side and one which keeps them well and truly within striking distance of the top four.

New recruit Aaron Woods also made his Sharks debut on the night, with the international front rower getting through a strong 40 minutes in an enterprising display.

It was a terrible start for the Sharks, the Warriors scoring early through Solomon Kata after Cronulla failed to find touch following what should have been a relieving penalty.

Shaun Johnson converted the try from out wide and it was 6-0 to the home team.

The Warriors extended their advantage shortly with a second four-pointer when big centre Anthony Gelling crossed and after Johnson again added the extras it was 12-0 with less then 10-minutes of the match gone.

From that point the Sharks dug in and responded, dominating possession and field position and their efforts were rewarded, Jesse Ramien showing good strength and determination to touch down out wide.

Townsend couldn't convert however the Sharks had worked their way back into the contest at 12-4 down.

The Sharks again pressed and this time it was a clever backline move which resulted in Edrick Lee scoring, Matt Moylan passing to Ricky Leutele who put his winger over in the corner.

On this occasion Townsend was on target and it was 12-10 Warriors with half time approaching.

A penalty goal for a ruck infringement levelled the scores, with the Sharks likely satisfied with a 12-12 scoreline considering their slow start.

Neither team could gain an advantage in the early moments of the second period and it was another Townsend penalty goal that would break the deadlock, the Sharks going ahead 14-12 with 25 minutes remaining.

Just when the Sharks appeared to be gaining the upper hand, a Roger Tuivasa-Sheck line break put their opponents on the attack and a Warriors penalty goal two plays later would level the scores once again.

Johnson would kick his team in front 15-14 with a field goal and it looked as though they had secured the result when Isaac Luke crossed after Valentine Holmes failed to secure a Warriors bomb, however when the video referee ruled the New Zealand hooker to be off-side, the Sharks still had life.

A Moylan field goal attempt was charged down but in gaining a new set of six tackles, the Sharks went wide and again it was the combination of Moylan, to Leutele, to Lee, with the lanky winger sliding over in the corner to put his team in front.

The Sharks defused the short kickoff and weathered the final 90 seconds to claim a valuable, yet in some respects a fortune, two competition points.

The win sees them climb to 20 competition points, just two behind the Warriors and with a bye next weekend the Sharks are well-positioned for the run home to the finals.


Edrick Lee 2, Jesse Ramien tries, Chad Townsend 3 goals



Solomon Kata, Anthony Gelling tries, Shaun Johnson 3 goals and a field goal

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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