The Sharks received a welcome boost prior to kick-off with barnstorming prop Braden Hamlin-Uele cleared to make his return from a leg injury after missing the past three weeks.
The Knights were dealt an early scare with star Kalyn Ponga being taken from the field for a head injury assessment which he was able to pass.
The first points of the contest came through Sharks fullback Will Kennedy who showed the ball and darted his way through the line off a left-edge sweep to give the Sharks a 6-0 lead seven minutes in.
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The Sharks were denied a second minutes later after replays showed that Dale Finucane impeded a defender as Connor Tracey took off through the middle of the field and found a supporting Nicho Hynes.
Ponga made an immediate impact upon his return to the field reeling in a fifth-tackle Bradman Best offload and scooting over to tie the game up on the quarter-mark.
The Sharks broke the deadlock soon after with another Kennedy sweep proving fruitful as the fullback stripped the Newcastle edge for numbers to send Ronaldo Mulitalo over in the left corner and give them a six-point buffer heading into the break.
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Cronulla extended their lead to a dozen less than five minutes into the second half via Tracey who pushed his way past his opposite Dane Gagai and crawled his way to the try-line before a Hynes penalty goal midway through the second stanza pushed the Sharks lead beyond two converted tries.
Royce Hunt managed a try for the second-straight game after powering his way to the line off the back of a handful of offloads with just 10 minutes left to put the icing on the cake for the Sharks.
Both sides completed at below 70 per cent in what was an error-riddle affair, however, Cronulla’s dominance through the middle was on full display from the outset.
Hynes assisted on a try, ran for 181 metres with three tackle breaks, and kicked for 556 metres whilst Kennedy scored a try, assisted on another, and ran for 181 metres with 10 tackle breaks.
12 of the Sharks’ 13 starters cracked the 100-metre mark compared to just half-a-dozen of their Newcastle counterparts.
The Sharks will enjoy a bye next week in the lead-up to Origin I before hosting Brisbane at PointsBet Stadium the following Saturday.
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