After Canterbury slotted an early penalty goal, Kennedy took control of proceedings; the 26-year-old got the visitors on the board with a sixth-minute four-pointer off a Briton Nikora break.
Kennedy grabbed his second of the evening the following set after out-leaping opposing fullback Hayze Perham several yards out from the try-line to make it 12-2 less than 10 minutes in.
Undeterred, Canterbury answered with some slick hands down their right edge resulting in a Braidon Burns try.
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The Bulldogs had little success slowing Kennedy down in the first stanza with the Sharks fullback sweeping down the left edge once more for his third at the 22-minute mark which survived some late video official intervention to give Cronulla an 18-8 lead.
Canterbury crossed several minutes before the break via Sharks junior Declan Casey who reeled in a neat, Perham cross-out to dive over in the left corner and breathe some life back into the contest.
The Bulldogs’ fightback was dealt a blow in the opening set of the second half with Cronulla, aided by a set restart, scoring off a simple, aerial assault with Ronaldo Mulitalo leaping to lay a four-pointer on for Matt Moylan.
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Sione Katoa joined the try-scorers list just shy of the hour-mark through a regulation, right-side shift to put the Sharks ahead by 16.
The stubborn Bulldogs snagged another with 13 minutes to play after Matt Burton snuck through a gap to put Corey Waddell over.
An untouched Mulitalo dove over late to put what looked to be the cherry on top of a black, white, and blue cake before replays showed the Sharks winger grazed the touch in-goal line with his hand prior to grounding the ball.
Nicho Hynes notched a penalty goal and a field goal in the final minutes to add the finishing touches to the victory.
Despite another error-riddled display, the Sharks managed to earn back-to-back wins for the first time in 2023 as they look to cement themselves in the top four.
Kennedy led the way for Cronulla finishing with a trio of four-pointers and 172 run metres whilst Hynes assisted on two tries and kicked for 424 metres.
Now with four wins from their opening seven clashes, the Sharks shift their focus to a qualifying final rematch versus the North Queensland Cowboys at PointsBet Stadium on Thursday night.
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