Despite a difficult start to their 2019 season, the Tarsha Gale Sharks need just a win in their last round match with the Bulldogs to qualify for the competition finals.
The defending Tarsha Gale Cup champions, fielding a new and inexperienced group, struggled through the first six round but a second win in succession, a 28-22 triumph over the Raiders last Saturday has the Sharks on the brink of a finals appearance in two weeks’ time.
In other junior rep results, the Matthews Cup Sharks scored a crucial 26-6 victory over Canberra to move back into the top eight, while the SG Ball side let a big lead slip in going down 30-26 to the Raiders in the final match of the day played at Gungahlin on Saturday.
The most exciting contest of the day might have been the first one, with the Sharks playing for their competition survival against fellow finals aspirants the Raiders.
Going to half time down by 10-6, a try just after the break by Tegan Dymock tipped the momentum in the Sharks favour, with further four-pointers scored in quick succession by Alexandra Weir and Jazmine Silvia Gukisuva giving the visiting Sharks an 18-10 advantage.
While the Raiders wouldn’t surrender, the Sharks would prove too good, two more tries, one to Talei Koroitamana and the second to Ella Barker confirming a win that moved them to eighth on the Tarsha Gale ladder.
The next match on Gungahlin Reserve saw a fired up Sharks outfit cross for three first half tries in opening up a 12-0 lead at the break and from that point they were never really threatened.
Backrower Sam Jinks scored twice, Kristian Dixon also cross for two, with the Sharks touching down for six tries to one in a dominant performance.
However, while the trip to the ACT proved successful for the first two Sharks teams, the story wasn’t as bright for the SG Ball Sharks who let a match-winning lead slip before being beaten by a Canberra try three minutes from full time.
The Ball Sharks led 10-0 early and 20-8 at half time, but they couldn’t hold out their opponents in the second half, relinquishing the lead in falling behind 24-20, before going back in front 26-24 with time running out, only to concede the match winner late in the game.
It was a disappointing result for the Sharks, who now face a must-win game against local rivals St George in their round nine match should they hope to qualify to play finals football.
The three Sharks teams play away in the final round, the Matthews and Ball against St George at Mascot Oval, the Tarsha Gale girls face the Bulldogs at Belmore.
Game details and team lists will be released tomorrow.
Jamie Chapman, Tegan Dymock, Talei Koroitamana, Ella Barker, Alexandra Weir, Jazmine Silvia Gukisuva tries, Janelle Kennedy 2 goals
Sam Jinks 2, Kristian Dixon 2, Te Wehi Waitere, Andrew Abou-Arrange tries, Liam Sutton goal
Sidney Noppen, Kade Dykes, Billy Burke, Zane Jegers, Hayden Sutton tries, Thomas Demeio 3 goals