The Tarsha Gale Sharks were celebrating their first win of 2019, while the Mathews Cup and SG Ball teams were left licking their wounds after suffering disappointing losses in round seven junior rep matches played on Saturday.
After a difficult season, the continued improvement from the Tarsha Sharks was on show, with the girls surviving in a close one in edging out the Sydney Roosters Indigenous Academy by 22-20.
The story wasn’t quite as positive for the Matthews Cup and SG Ball boys, with both teams in the playoff hunt and having plenty to play for, however it was North Sydney who would emerge victorious, the under 16’s match going the way of the Bears by 18-12, while it was a similar result in the under-18’s clash with the visitors claiming a 26-12 victory.
In the opening match it was a nail biter between the Sharks and the Roosters Academy in the Tarsha Gale with the home team scoring then converting with less than two minutes remaining to break their duck in 2019 and register a stirring win.
It was a game with numerous lead changes, the Sharks going ahead, then the Roosters fighting back, until the late match-winner from Jamie Chapman, her third try on the day, converted by Janelle Kennedy, securing the result.
The Roosters scored five tries to four, with goal kicking ultimately deciding the outcome.
From the highs of the girls game, it was somewhat disappointing performance from the Matthews Cup boys that would follow.
The Sharks took a 12-6 lead to half time, but they were unable to go on with the job in the second period, two North Sydney tries giving them victory and seeing the Cronulla slip to eighth and needing to show some character over the final two rounds should they hope to qualify for the finals series.
In the final game of the day the SG Ball Sharks fell behind by two tries early, before Noah Lester crossed, Tom Demeio converting and trailing by 12-6 the Cronulla side would have given themselves every chance of a comeback.
The second period however started poorly for the Sharks, North Sydney scoring shortly after the break to go 10 ahead and from that point the Bears would dominate, crossing for two more tries in racing out to a match-winning 26-6 advantage.
The Sharks scored a consolation try to front rower Zane Jegers, but is was too little too late as the Bears held on for a win that now puts the Cronulla team under pressure and needing wins in their last two games to secure a finals berth.
The Ball Sharks are seventh with a difficult game on the road against fellow finals aspirants the Raiders next Saturday.
The Matthews Cup and Tarsha Gale Sharks also travel to Canberra for their round eight matches.
Jamie Chapman 3, Lynda Howarth tries, Howarth 2, Jannelle Kennedy goals
Sydney Roosters Indigenous Academy 20
Chaz Jarvis, Cullen Whetu tries, Liam Sutton 2 goals
Noah Lester, Zane Jegers tries, Tom Demeio 2 goals