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Matts, Tarsha in finals as Ball, Fiaola bow out

A sensational come-from-behind win for the Harold Matthews Cup Sharks capped off the NSWRL Junior Representative regular season on Saturday, with two Cronulla teams progressing to the finals.

The Brad Kelly-coached under-17 Harold Matthews side scored a thrilling 26-22 victory over the Roosters after trailing 18-0 at PointsBet Stadium.

The result saw them leapfrog the Tricolours into fourth position, setting up another clash between the clubs for a spot in the preliminary final in two weeks' time.

Interchange middle forward Cruz Parkin was instrumental, changing the momentum and scoring a crucial try before fullback Oliver Lester touched down to put Cronulla ahead with 10 minutes remaining. They defended grimly and held on.

While the under-19 Tarsha Gale women lost 38-4 to the first-placed Steelers in Round 9, they went into the match knowing they could finish no worse than sixth.

Isaac Michael's charges are now poised to face the Roosters-affiliated Indigenous Academy (ranked third) in an elimination final.

Elsewhere, Dave Howlett's under-19 SG Ball boys concluded their campaign with a 28-20 loss to the undefeated Roosters, leaving them ninth. Victory wouldn't have been enough to keep their season alive as other results went against them.

Like the earlier Harold Matthews game, the Sharks fought back valiantly after trailing 28-10 in the second half. Back-to-back tries to Cairo Rangihuna-Ruri and Alex Challenor gave Cronulla a sniff, but they couldn't crack the Tricolours' defence at the death despite some attacking opportunities.

The under-17 Lisa Fiaola girls bowed out with a 38-14 loss to Illawarra. They ultimately produced a record of two wins and six losses, but the team showed considerable heart and developed impressively under coach Robbie Taylor.

Details for the upcoming finals matches will be communicated over the next week.

Lead photo courtesy of Adam Wrightson Photography

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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