The Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership Sharks have kept their unbeaten streak alive, while at the same time avenging a 2020 Finals loss in beating the North Sydney Bears 22-12.
The Sharks sealed the result with a Maddie Studden try and conversion in the 65th minute, to make if three victories from their three matches so far in 2021.
Knocked out of contention by the Bears in a sudden-death Grand Final qualifier last year, coach Tony Herman, while not a part of the 2020 campaign, shared in the satisfaction of getting the win over a tough North Sydney side.
“They are obviously a good footy side. We knew coming in today it was going to be tough, especially playing them at home,” Herman said. “I thought we stood up, we did make life for ourselves at times, but the way the girls stuck together at the end is a real credit to them.”
The Sharks gave up the first try in the first minute of the match, but managed two tries in the first half, the first by Lynda Howarth, the second to Andie Robinson and when Studdon converted both it was 12-6 to the Cronulla girls at the break.
A try to hard working backrower Talei Holmes pushed the score out to 16-6 Sharks, before the Bears gave themselves a chance with a converted try 15 minutes from fulltime to set up a tense finale.
The Sharks however knuckled down, scoring the match winner in the final five minutes of the contest.
While pleased with the effort and result, Herman was most pleased with the defensive resilience shown by his team, while saving special mention for Kennedy Cherrington who took on the big Bears forward pack in helping her side come out on top.
“We’ve gave them a lot of football, we were none-from-six completions early in the game, but we’re starting to understand if you’re going to go a long way in the competition you’ve got to be able to defend your own line and I thought we did that well today,” Herman added.
“Kennedy Cherrington played a full 70-minutes in the middle an I thought she was very good for us. She was strong, She’s not the biggest girl but she’s got one of the biggest hearts, that’s for sure,” the coach added.
The Sharks will now take their three match win streak on the road for their next assignment, where they play the Helensburgh Tigers at Rex Jackson Oval on Saturday.
Lynda Howarth, Andie Robinson, Talei Holmes, Maddie Studdon tries, Studden 3 goals