Tricolours go down fighting

Despite a brave second half fightback the Tricolours suffered their first defeat in nine weeks going down to the Cronulla Sharks 32-22.


An uncharacteristic like twenty minute period in the opening half proved the visitors downfall as the Sharks went on a scoring spree to go in to the break ahead 24-0.


It was the Roosters we have come to know in the second half, the Sharks only points coming off the boot of Todd Carney who slotted three penalty goals for the home side.


The large amount of points paints a different picture to a game that gave us a glimpse of the finals like intensity that will grip the competition over the coming weeks. Every tackle was fierce and there was definitely no love lost between the two sides.


Tupou scored a double for the home side whilst Guerra and Waerea-Hargreaves never stopped trying all night.


In another positive for the club, Tuivasa-Sheck had his best game in the number one jersey, constantly threatening the Sharks line.



Paul Gallen kick started the scoring for the night when he fell on a loose ball that Wade Graham completely misjudged but luckily it came off his chest enabling the Cronulla skipper to make it 6-0 early on.


It was a finals type intensity as both sides were relentless and aggressive in defence.


As is now a familiar story, the Tricolours were on the wrong side of the penalty count in the first stanza and Carney used that to extend the Sharks lead to eight with a gift two points.


The Tricolours were winning the wrestle late in the first but a couple of cheap penalties saw the home side score in their first venture too their own twenty metre line.


A well worked back line movement was finished off by a quick inside ball to a flying Gordon to make it 14-0.


Just minutes later the Sharks again targeted the visitors right side defence and powered over through Wright.


A first half to forget was finished off by Heighington who stripped the ball from Kenny-Dowall to slide over untouched and have the visitors in front by twenty-six at the break.


It wasn't aggression or toughness that was letting the Tricolours down but execution and they momentarily fixed that at the start of the second when a couple of handy passes saw Tupou touch down out wide.


Young Roger Tuivasa-Sheck showed us what we can come to expect in coming seasons when he put on a step even he would be proud of to set up our second with just under half an hour to play.


It looked like Tuivasa-Sheck was going to score a try of his own only for it to be ruled no try by the video ref, Tupou apparently meant to turn invisible.


Carney then added his third penalty goal of the night and the Sharks were three converted tries in front.


In almost a carbon copy of his first, Tupou touched down in the corner as the Tricolours continued to dominate the second stanza but it wasn't enough the Sharks running out winners and securing a home final.