The Sharks Matthews Cup and SG Ball teams both scored crucial victories over the Penrith Panthers in round four junior rep fixtures last Saturday.
Like the Sharks, Penrith is a club club that is accustomed to success and prides itself on its junior programs, but on this occasion the Sharks took the bragging rights, with the Matthews Sharks coming from behind in registering a 20-10 win, while the under-18 Ball side dismantled Penrith in cruising to a 38-4 triumph.
In the earlier match on Shark Park the Tarsha Gale Sharks continued to show signs of improvement but were beaten 28-14 by the Panthers.
The Tarsha girls gave up two early tries, battled back when Jamie Chapman crossed the line, then again fell behind during the middle third of the contest.
Further tries to Alexandra Weir and Zali Fay brought the Sharks closer however a first victory for 2019 still managed to evade them.
The fortunes of the home club turned around in the second match of the day when the Matthews Sharks, with a new head coach in Michael Hughes in charge of his first game, overcame a half time deficit to record their second win in three starts.
Down 10-4 at the break, the under-16 Sharks levelled at 10-apiece early in the second period courtesy of a Kage Dwyer try and a Liam Sutton conversion.
A Sutton penalty goal in the 53rd minute gave his team their first lead at 12-10, before the Sharks half back crossed for a a try of his own, adding the extras in pushing the advantage out to eight points. Another penalty goal in the final minute made it 20-10 as the Sharks secured the win.
After a narrow loss in the opening round the Matthews Sharks have now taken down perennial powerhouses the Eels and Panthers in successive weeks. The Sharks sit just two points behind competition leaders Souths but in fifth place on for-and-against.
In the final game the Ball Sharks, after a points avalanche the previous week against the West Coast Pirates, again came to play and three tries in the first 10 minutes showed the Panthers they meant business.
A fourth try, this one coming from back rower Kitione Kautoga in the 20th minute made it 22-0 and despite Penrith’s lone four-pointer coming just before the break, the home team was well and truly in control with the score 24-4 at half time.
Further tries to Sidney Noppen, Kade Dykes and a second to Kautoga put the result beyond doubt and saw the Ball Sharks move into a strong position on the competition table.
After two wins, a loss and two points from a bye, the Ball Sharks sit in third position following the opening four rounds.
The Matthews Cup (10am kickoff) and SG Ball (11.30am) Sharks both play the Balmain Tigers at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday in round five, with the Tarsha Gale team to tackle the Parramatta Eels at McCredie Park. That game is scheduled to get underway at 10am.
Jamie Chapman, Alexandra Weir, Zali Fay tries Kyla Johnston goal
Chaz Jarvis , Kage Dwyer, Liam Sutton tries, Sutton 4 goals
Kitione Kautoga 2, Thomas Demeio, Hayden Sutton, Sidney Noppen, Kade
Dykes tries, Demeio 6 goals, Billy Burke goal
Photo Galleries - Courtesy Steve Montgomery - ourfootyteam.com
Tarsha Gale Cup - Rnd 4 v Panthers
Harold Matthews Cup - Rnd 4 v Panthers
SG Ball Cup - Rnd 4 v Panthers