Sharks survive fast-finishing Sea Eagles for bounce-back win

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The Sharks were hit with a double blow earlier in the week with Siosifa Talakai and Oregon Kaufusi both ruled out through injury.

It took less than six minutes for the visitors to strike with barnstorming prop Royce Hunt steaming through a meagre Haumole Olakau’atu attempt to dive over and make it 6-0.

Briton Nikora earnt his side a penalty midway through the opening stanza allowing Nicho Hynes to pilot a penalty goal through and extend the Cronulla lead beyond a converted try.

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A miskicked, Daly Cherry-Evans touch-finder put the Sharks back on the attack on the half-hour mark with Sione Katoa stepping his way to the line to finish off a trademark, Sharks shift.

Former-Shark Aaron Woods went close to powering his way to the try-line before Katoa involved himself again plucking a Cherry-Evans kick out of the air and launching a near-60-metre counterattack downfield.

A penalty on the stroke of half-time gave Manly’s Reuben Garrick the opportunity to slot a penalty goal from the sideline and cut the Sharks lead to 14-2 heading into the break.

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It was more of the same for the Sharks to open the second half with Katoa linking with Briton Nikora down the left touchline and Jesse Ramien finishing things off back on the inside to give the visitors a convincing 20-2 lead entering the final half-hour.

Manly’s fightback began in the 62nd minute with Ben Trbojevic showing off some terrific hands to send Garrick over in the left corner on a last-tackle raid.

The hosts breathed some serious life into the contest 10 minutes later when a fleetfooted Cherry-Evans beat several Sharks defenders and unloaded the ball to a supporting Lachlan Croker who wrestled his way past Will Kennedy to cut the deficit to just six.


The Sharks managed to hang on, however, with an after-the-siren, Hail Mary bomb proving fruitless for the Sea Eagles as they slumped to their third loss on the trot.

Nikora’s strong run of form continued for Cronulla with the New Zealand international assisting on a try, running for 142 metres with three tackle breaks, and making 40 tackles whilst Katoa scored a try, assisted on a line break, and ran for 183 metres with 11 tackle breaks.

For the hosts, Garrick scored a try and ran for 154 metres with six tackle breaks whilst Taniela Paseka ran for 171 metres and made 19 tackles.

The Sharks will next week face an up-and-down Knights outfit in Indigenous Round at Coffs Harbour’s C.ex Coffs International Stadium before a Round 13 bye in the lead-up to Origin I.

Cameron Laing
Owner | Local Supporter
Shire Talk

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