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Flegg Sharks shock Storm in NRL curtain-raiser

Cronulla's Jersey Flegg team secured back-to-back wins for the first time in 2024 with an emphatic 34-20 result against the Storm in an NRL curtain-raiser at PointsBet Stadium on Thursday night.

Having ground out an 18-10 victory over the Roosters last week, the under-21 Sharks produced six tries in a performance punctuated by doubles to Taj Ford and Dylan Coutts.

Coming into the game in 13th position, Cronulla were on the ropes early against 10th-placed Melbourne as they conceded the opening try after eight minutes.

But the Andrew Dallalana-coached side found great success down the Storm's right edge, with five-eighth Ford crossing on the back of shape before second-rower Coutts tore away for a long-range four-pointer.

Ford secured his double in similar circumstances to his first try in the 28th minute. Winger Kristian Dixon's perfect goal-kicking gave Cronulla a healthy 18-6 halftime lead despite the loss of new centre John-Paul Donevski to a head knock.

The Sharks picked up where they left off when play resumed as interchange forward Lachlan Crossle etched his name on the scoresheet through the middle.

Coutts, a member of the NRL training squad, collected his second try in the 45th minute to help the Sharks ram home their dominance as the crowd steadily built.

Continuing their assault on Melbourne's right edge, Cronulla strode further in front when winger Te Wehi Waitere touched down in the corner. 

To their credit, the Storm never stopped fighting and bridged the margin to 14 points with a run of late points, including a try on the final play of the match.

The Sharks face the Panthers at BlueBet Stadium next Saturday.

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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