While the rest of the Jersey Flegg competition sat idle, with all other matches this weekend cancelled because of the heavy rains affecting the NSW east coast, the Sharks and Victorian Thunderbolts went about their business in a round two match at Netstrata Stadium.
In a hard-slogging affair, contested on a soggy yet perfectly playable Kogarah surface, it was the Sharks who prevailed, scoring four tries to two in a solid 18-10 victory.
It was only one try each at the end of the first half, however when the Sharks managed to hold onto the football and mount some pressure after the break, they proved too strong in registering their first win of the 2021 season.
While the rain had abated it was still a wet and slippery surface and the ground conditions contributed somewhat to the first points, with the Sharks defender losing his footing, creating a gap in the defensive line and Victoria’s Jonah Pezet was only too happy to take advantage.
The conversion was unsuccessful with the Thunderbolts up 4-0.
In a low scoring first half it appeared the visitors would take the narrow lead to the break, only for some enterprising play down the Sharks left seeing Kayal Iro find his winger Thomas Rodwell for the Sharks first points.
The attempt at the extra two was waved away and the teams went to half time at 4-points apiece.
The Sharks were first on the board in the second half, five eighth Harrison Geraghty winning the race to an Angus Ernst grubber kick and the Kyle Pickering conversion put the Sharks up by six at 10-4 in front.
Next points came from some slick play on the last tackle, interchange hooker Bailey Cantrill starting a movement which saw Iro pass inside the Kai Parker and after a fortunate rebound from a kick the rangy back rower would touch down.
Pickering couldn't convert but at 14-4 with under 20 minutes of the match remaining the Sharks were in control.
That advantage was lessened when the Thunderbolts barged over from close range, the conversion bringing them to within four, but the Sharks would go on with the job, Pickering scoring in the north-eastern corner in pushing the lead out to eight in giving the Sharks the valuable two competition points.
For the Sharks big front rower Franklin Pele was hard to handle, Iro out wide performed strongly, halves Ernst and Geraghty did a good job in the conditions and forward Parker and Jack Boiling worked hard throughout.
The win sees the Sharks take their season tally to one win from two matches, with their next assignment a game against the Parramatta Eels next Saturday.
Kyle Pickering, Kai Parker , Harrison Geraghty, Thomas Rodwell tries, Pickering goal