A gallant Sharks side has gone down by 12-10 to the Canberra Raiders after an attempted penalty goal to tie the match as the full-time sounded was hooked wide of the posts.
The Sharks were forced to turn the Raiders away on countless occasions in the first half of the match, before holding their opponents scoreless in the second period in a performance that would give them some level of confidence gong forward.
In the end it was the 18 errors for the match as much as it was the missed kick to level the game in the dying moments that contributed to the result, with the Sharks looking to take some lessons from the loss before tackling the Parramatta Eels next weekend.
After relentless early pressure, with the Raiders virtually camping on the Sharks line in the first 25 minutes of the match, the home team finally cracked, centre Sebastian Kris crashing through a couple of Sharks defenders to open his teams account.
Jack Wighton added the extras and it was 6-0 to the Raiders.
In a high quality game, with the Raiders completing 15 of their first 16 sets despite the slippery conditions, the Sharks hung in, a Briton Nikora line break came to nothing when the last pass went astray and the Cronulla side was again forced to repel numerous Canberra attacking raids.
Then when it appeared just six points were going to separate the two teams, came a devastating blow for the Sharks heading into half time, an error gifting the Raiders possession with just 40 seconds to go in the half and with the siren sounding in the background, second rower Hudson Young slid over for Canberra’s second try of the night after accepting a clever Josh Hodgson pass.
The Wighton kick made it 12-0 Raiders at the break and the Sharks had it all to do with the persistent rain still falling.
Errors early in the second period saw her Sharks forced to defend grimly once again but the tide turned in their favour and after a couple of repeat sets of their own, a perfect Chad Townsend grubber was snapped up by Will Kennedy, with you young fullback touching down.
The kick from Townsend was waved away, however the Sharks had some encouragement at 12-4.
Now well and truly in the contest and with momentum shifting somewhat in their favour, the Sharks pressed forward once again, with Townsend kicking a penalty goal and with 15 minutes left on the clock the Sharks were back within a converted try.
With plenty of feeling creeping into the game, a penalty following some Curtis Scott ill-discipline saw the Sharks mount another attack and a Townsend kick was batted around in the in goal before Josh Dugan dived on the loose ball for a Sharks try.
It was a messy one but it was four-points all the same and while the kick from a wide angle was unsuccessful with just two points between the teams and with time still on the clock the game was set up for a grandstand finish.
And a frantic finale certainly followed, the Sharks earning a penalty after Dugan was taken out off the ball, with the Townsend kick hooked the left, enabling the Raiders to escape with the victory and the valuable two competition points.
Despite having a disappointing game with the boot in kicking one from four, Townsend was amongst the Sharks best in general play, providing two try assists on the night, Toby Rudolf put an interesting week behind him with an energetic performance in the middle, while Kennedy at the back continued his improvement with another enterprising display.
Blayke Brailey at hooker and Aaron Woods up front also did a good job against a powerful Raiders pack.
The Sharks will now look to regroup ahead of a game against the Parramatta Eels next Saturday night at Bankwest Stadium.
Will Kennedy, Josh Dugan tries, Chad Townsend goal
Hudson Young, Sebastian Kris tries, Jack Wighton 2 goals
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