In a finish reminiscent of the Sharks NRL loss a week prior, the Sharks Harvey Norman Women’s team have given up a length of the field intercept try in the final five minutes in going down by 14-10 to the North Sydney Bears in their season opener.
Locked at 10-all for the entire second half, the Sharks were looking for the go-ahead try when Shontelle Stowers, ironically a member of the Cronulla women’s set up over the previous two years, got her hands on a flat pass before streaking 95 metres for the game winner.
It was a tough finale after a committed Sharks team had gone blow for blow with an equally determined Bears outfit for the first 65 minutes of the match.
The Sharks were first on the board following a barnstorming effort from winger Kiana Takairangi and when Maddie Studdon converted from the sideline it was 6-0 in the game being contested under lights at the Sharks Academy Fields at Cronulla High School.
The Bears would level after getting a favourable bounce from a grubber kick and the subsequent conversion made it 6-all midway through the half.
Sharks skipper Corbin McGregor crossed for a spectacular four-pointer, the NSW and Australian rep running through the middle of the North Sydney defence then outpacing the cover and when Studdon couldn't add the extras from the sideline it was 10-6 to the Cronulla team at half time.
The Bears levelled early in the second period, with the slippery conditions causing errors from both teams, neither were able to add to their tally, until the Stowers heroics would eventually decide the result.
The Sharks were well-served by Ruan Sims, who was a power of strength in the middle of the field, McGregor was always dangerous at the back, with both centres in Tayla Preston and Tiana Pentani solid out wide.
The Harvey Norman Women’s Sharks are back at home against next week when they play St Mary’s in a second round clash on Saturday. Kickoff to that game has been scheduled for 10am.
Kiana Takairangi, Corban McGregor tries, Maddie Studdon goal
NORTH SYDNEY 14