The Sharks have managed to break a seven-game losing streak at the hands of the Roosters overcoming the tricolours 22-12 in an error- and penalty-riddled affair at PointsBet Stadium on Friday night.
After a fiery opening exchange, Roosters back-rower Nat Butcher was binned for an ugly hip drop on Cronulla’s Briton Nikora which gave the hosts an opportunity to open their account with a gift two points.
With Butcher off the field and the Sharks on the attack, Nicho Hynes absorbed a strong Joseph Manu hit, squeezed the ball out behind him – perhaps unintentionally – to a waiting Matt Moylan who dove through a pair of Roosters defenders for the contest’s opening four-pointer.
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After conceding the first seven penalties of the night, the Roosters did not take long to capitalise on their first penalty earnt, despite still being a man down, with Egan Butcher pouring through a hole off some neat ball-playing courtesy of Luke Keary to cross in the 24th minute.
Despite a horror opening, the Roosters managed to snatch their first lead of the encounter prior to half-time through a Brandon Smith burrow effort in which the ball brushed the chalk by a matter of seeming millimetres.
Cronulla refused to stay down, however, with a tip-toeing Ronaldo Mulitalo finishing off a sharp, backline play on the other side of half-time to wrestle the lead back for the hosts.
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The score remained deadlocked at a dozen with Hynes unable to add the two points from the left touchline.
The game remained in the balance for the next quarter of proceedings before Hynes spotted an opportunity coming out of his own end down a right-hand short-side.
The reigning Dally M Medallist outpaced Smith and fooled Daniel Tupou with a show before drawing fullback James Tedesco and hitting Blayke Brailey who dragged a gallant Sam Walker over the line for what would prove to be the match-winner.
Things unravelled for the Roosters over the final 10 minutes; Smith was binned for a high shot on Cronulla’s Cameron McInnes leading to a Nikora try which added injury to insult for the tricolours before habitually ill-disciplined lock Victor Radley was binned in the final minutes for oddly falling onto an already-tackled player, much to the delight of the Shire locals.
The Sharks ended a seven-game losing streak against the tricolours thanks to a superb second half courtesy of Hynes with Origin calls continuing to grow louder for the Central Coast-native.
The 26-year-old assisted on try, ran for 190 metres with two line breaks and three tackle breaks, and kicked for 551 metres.
Also for the Sharks, Siosifa Talakai assisted on a try and ran for a game-high 212 metres with four tackle breaks whilst Brailey scored a try, assisted on another, and made a game-high 45 tackles.
The Roosters, meanwhile, were led by starting props Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Lindsay Collins who combined for 303 run metres from 32 carries and 50 tackles.
The match proved far from the most polished of affairs with the Sharks making 13 errors and the Roosters conceding 14 penalties, however, it remains a valuable win for side as they look to make a jump back into the top four.
The Sharks improve to 3-3 on the year and now shift their focus to a Saturday evening matchup against the Bulldogs at Homebush next week.
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