Flegg Sharks overpower Manly
An attacking masterclass from the Sharks Jersey Flegg under-20s has seen them wallop the Manly Sea Eagles 48-14 in an NRL curtain-raiser at Southern Cross Group Stadium.
Halfback Braydon Trindall was the star of the show, producing three superb try-assists and booting eight goals. His halves partner Jayden Millard was also outstanding, having a hand in numerous tries.
On a fast and dry surface, the Sharks attacked from the get-go and struck in the 9th minute. Back-rower Joshua Carr proved far too strong running one-out near the line, hit-and-spinning his way across for the opening try.
Trindall drilled the conversion from next to the uprights to give the Sharks a 6-0 lead.
Soon after, prop Cruz Topai-Aveai etched his name on the scoresheet when he charged onto a lovely flat pass from Millard. The goal was successful for a 12-0 advantage.
On the ensuing set, some brilliance from Trindall put Cronulla ahead by three converted tries. The No.7 threw a dummy, cut through the defence and accelerated into the backfields before linking with fullback Luke Polselli who scored under the posts.
The Sea Eagles hit back in the 25th minute when hooker Tyran Ott put his head down and burrowed under the Sharks defence from close range. Former Shark Luke Metcalf kicked the conversion to make it 18-6.
But Cronulla would quickly nullify any momentum Manly had gained, as Harrison Smith touched down off a scheming grubber from Trindall back on the inside.
Trindall continued his fantastic first half by converting the try he set up, sending the Sharks into half-time up 24-6.
Manly was on the board first in the second stanza. Sea Eagles fullback Bilal Maarbani held up a neat pass for another ex-Shark, Semisi Kioa, to score on the right edge.
Metcalf couldn't add the extras from the side-line.
It wouldn't be long before Cronulla scored though – and it was Trindall who again laid on the try. Shaping to play out the back, he instead threw a magnificent flat cut-out pass for centre Jackson Ferris to cross.
The halfback kept his perfect goal-kicking day intact, blowing the score out to 30-10.
Manly shortened the gap after Maarbani went in on the back of a slick backline shift, but it was little more than a consolation.
The Sharks ran in a sixth try through Teig Wilton, who sold the Sea Eagles a huge dummy after a nice ball from Millard.
Two final blows came in the form of winger Bronson Xerri, who scooted into the left corner following a Millard tip-on, and a rampaging Carr.
The big victory keeps the Sharks in second position, just two points behind the Newcastle Knights.
Cronulla Sharks 48 (Joshua Carr 2, Cruz Topai-Aveai, Luke Polselli, Harrison Smith, Jackson Ferris, Teig Wilton, Bronson Xerri tries; Braydon Trindall 8 goals) beat Manly Sea Eagles 14