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Wounded Sharks beaten by Broncs

A depleted Sharks line up has gone down to the Brisbane Broncos by 29-6 in their round seven match at Suncorp Stadium. 

Adding to their mounting injury toll, the Sharks lost Josh Dugan in the warm-up, then had Shaun Johnson assisted from the field midway through the first half, making the task of taking on a desperate Broncos outfit all that more difficult. 

However while the list of players missing could be used as an excuse, the Sharks were preferring to point to a disappointing error count as the main reason for their downfall, with dropped ball at vital times gifting the Broncos field position and eventually points.

After going blow for blow with the Broncos early in the match a Sharks error at the back, then two consecutive penalties saw Brisbane camped on the Cronulla line and just three plays later Corey Oates would burst through a gaping hole in the defensive line to post the first try. 

Jamayne Isaako added the extras and it was 6-0 Broncos just eight minutes into the contest. 

It would be another error which would cost the Sharks, this time it was Oates contesting a high kick, pouncing on the loose ball and when brought down short of the line Alex Glenn barged over from the subsequent play the ball for his teams second of the night. 

Again Isaako was on target from a wide angle and it was 12-0 Brisbane in the 14th minute of the match. 

A fired up Brisbane side forced a line drop out soon after and following another Broncos penalty Isaako made it 14-0 with a kick from close range. 

The scoreline wasn't the only thing going against the Sharks, who already playing without Dugan and with debutante Ronaldo Mulitalo substituting on the wing, suffered another major setback when Johnson limped from the field with a hamstring issue. 

And from there the Sharks problems went from bad to worse when another error at the back resulted in a Brisbane set of six on the Sharks line, this time it was prop Joe Ofahengaue barging over adjacent to the uprights. 

Isaako maintained his perfect record with the boot as the scoreline pushed out to 20-0 Brisbane. 

A field goal by Anthony Milford 30-seconds from half time rubbed some salt into the wounds as the home team took a 21-0 lead into the break. 

The Sharks battled hard in the opening minutes of the second half however the Broncos would go on the attack, have a try disallowed, then add to their advantage when James Roberts exploited a tiring defence to score wide out. The conversion made it 27-0 with 25 minutes of the match remaining. 

Showing some resolve despite facing plenty of adversity a Blayke Brailey line break saw the Sharks work their way into some positive field position and it was the brothers combining for their teams first points, Blayke kicking and Jayden regathering for a try under the uprights. 

Chad Townsend had the kicking duties and it was 27-6 Broncos. 

The Broncos kicked another penalty goal after an attempted short line drop out failed to go 10 metres and in displaying plenty of character the Sharks repelled repeated attacking raids in the final 15 minutes with the final score remaining 29-6 to the Brisbane side. 

While disappointed in the loss and the end result, Sharks coach John Morris praised his teams attitude in matching the Broncos in the second half despite the odds being stacked against them. Morris was also encouraged by the efforts of 19-year-old Mulitalo who only received the call up a matter of minutes before kick off. 

The Sharks will now look to dust themselves off and go again next week when they host the Melbourne Storm in a Friday night clash at PointsBet Stadium. 

Jayden Brailey try, Chad Townsend goal
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Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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