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Hynes leads Cronulla past Roosters in Magic Round classic

Cronulla halfback Nicho Hynes has pressed his claims for a State of Origin recall after leading the Sharks past the Roosters in a Magic Round classic.

The clash was a high-quality contest between two premiership contenders who traded blows throughout 80 brutal minutes.

The match was billed as the game of the round during the week and it did not disappoint. Both sides were willing to throw the ball around, resulting in 11 tries and 68 points in an entertaining affair.

Teig Wilton Try

Opposing halves Hynes and Sam Walker were superb for their teams, orchestrating multiple attacking raids and kicking with pinpoint precision.

Ultimately Hynes came out on top, doing his Origin hopes no harm in the process. 

The halfback missed last week's win over the Melbourne with a calf niggle, however he showed no signs of injury on Saturday night. 

It took just 70 seconds for the Sharks to open the scoring, Hynes shifting the ball deep inside his own half. A Jesse Ramien kick later followed, Dominic Young unable to clean it up before Will Kennedy gathered and grounded the ball. 

It didn't take long for the Roosters winger to redeem himself, latching on to a Joseph-Aukuso Sua'ali'i flick pass to level the scores.

Dominic Young Try

The Roosters centre's outstanding start to the match came to a halt midway through the first half when he was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul.

Cronulla capitalised on the extra man when Sione Katoa crossed in the 20th minute, courtesy of another piece of Ramien brilliance. 

While they conceded a try, the Roosters were solid throughout the 10-minute period and had plenty of attacking opportunities of their own. 

They hit back soon after Sua'ali'i returned, Daniel Tupou leaping above Katoa to snare a Luke Keary bomb and score his 150th try.

Daniel Tupou leapt through the air to snare his 150th NRL try.
Daniel Tupou leapt through the air to snare his 150th NRL try. ©NRL Photos

A James Tedesco error saw Hynes kick a 40-20 and the Sharks halfback ensured they made the most of the attacking opportunity, throwing a perfect pass to put Teig Wilton through a yawning gap. 

Just as they had done all game, the Roosters quickly responded, Junior Pauga crossing to make it 18-18 before he scored in the corner as the half-time siren sounded to ensure his team led by six at the break.

Junior Pauga 2nd Try

The Sharks hit back immediately after the break to level the scores before Hynes put his team in front with a 59th-minute penalty goal. 

The halfback then orchestrated a short-side raid close to the Roosters line, laying the platform for a Ronaldo Mulitalo try that made it 32-24. 

There was one more twist left in this match, Young crossing in the corner before Walker nailed the conversion from the sideline to bring his team within two.

An error, however, put Cronulla back on the attack and Tom Hazelton closed out the contest with a barnstorming try. 

Match Snapshot

  • Tom Hazelton crashed over for his fifth try of the season in the 77th minute
  • Daniel Tupou became the 16th player to score 150 NRL tries and extend his lead atop the Roosters try-scoring list. 
  • Dom Young scored his 50th and 51st tries from just his 59th game when he crossed in the first half.
  • The Sharks have now won seven-straight games for the first time since 2016. 
  • Cronulla had won just one of the past seven games at Suncorp Stadium prior to Saturday's victory.

Play of the game

The Sharks burst out of the gates to make an early statement. Hynes ran the ball deep in his own half, putting Ramien through a gap before a chip over the top was ultimately cleaned up by Kennedy to open the scoring after just 70 seconds. 

William Kennedy Try

What they said

"It was 68 points in a game, great for Magic Round, not so great for us. Any time you leak 38 points, you're not going to win a game. I liked some of the stuff we're doing, we just need to get harder in some of the areas there. Getting out of our end, lots of errors, lots of opportunity and then lots of missed tackles today. There was a lot of soft falling off the player which cost us a lot," - Roosters coach Trent Robinson

Roosters: Round 11

"There was a bit more adversity, it was a different way of winning. I thought we were under the pump for the most part but still kept keeping in and found a way. That was the most pleasing part. I don't think we were as good as we have been the last few weeks but I think they put us under pressure and made us feel that way so pleasing to get out of it," - Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon

Sharks: Round 11


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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