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Five of the Best: Showdowns with the Sharks

There have been over five decades of nail-biting and gritty battles between the Roosters and Sharks, and this Saturday night at the SCG promises to be no different - but before our boys in Red, White and Blue take the field, it's time to look back on Five of the Best. 

Ten Try Triumph Sinks Sorry Sharks: Round 2, 1974

Kick-starting their eventual Premiership season in style, the Roosters backed up their opening round win over Penrith with a 44-13 demolition of the Sharks at the Sydney Sports Ground.

In a ten-try performance, the Tricolours ran the Sharks ragged with a 19-5 half-time score blew up as Mark Harris, Bill Mullins and Jim Porter bagged doubles and Greg Bandiera, Russell Fairfax, Kevin Stevens and Elwyn Walters finding themselves on the scoresheet.

Centre John Brass banged over seven goals to pile on fourteen individual points as the Roosters put on their biggest scoreline against the Sharks - a record which still stands today.

With tries only being worth three points at the time, in modern days the scoreline would have read 54 to 16 - talk about a Shark attack.

We're In!: Anthony Minichiello and teammates celebrate the victory over the Sharks in the 2002 Qualifying Final.
We're In!: Anthony Minichiello and teammates celebrate the victory over the Sharks in the 2002 Qualifying Final.

Semi-Final Success: Qualifying Final 2002

Before the Red, White and Blue held the Premiership trophy aloft to end their 27-year-long drought, they would have to overcome a tough Cronulla outfit in the first week of finals - not seven days after they defeated the Sharks to earn a home semi-final. 

With fullback Luke Phillips out and super-utility Chris Flannery filling the void, the Roosters were far from flustered without their dependable custodian, as the deputy no.1 touched down for a four-pointer alongside fellow outside backs Todd Byrne and Brett Mullins, running rings around the Sharks in what was a dominant second-half performance.

Winger Anthony Minichiello scored a double as the Tricolours streaked away from a tight 12-8 score at half-time to pile on 20 unanswered points, with Craig Fitzgibbon kicking six from six to progress to go one step closer to glory. 

Shutout at the SFS: Round 19, 2013

Season 2013 saw the Sydney Roosters prove their credentials as one of the best defensive outfits in the code's history, and the side completed their fifth shutout of the season against the Cronulla Sharks in Round 19 with finals football looming. 

There were no troubles with Sonny Bill Williams out through suspension, as Mitchell Pearce put his second row partner Boyd Cordner through a yawning gap to open the scoring in just the second minute.

Soon after it was Jake Friend who darted from dummy-half to bamboozle the goal-line defence, and the Roosters laid on their third try as Michael Jennings and Daniel Tupou combined for a dazzling four-pointer.

Roosters v Sharks (HIGHLIGHTS)

Piling on 20 points in as many minutes, Pearce swung around to the right to put Shaun Kenny-Dowall over for a try, and on the stroke of half-time, he and Cordner would replicate the opening score as the Roosters went into the sheds up 28-nil.

A barging Sam Moa reached out to get a rare try of his own before a runaway Mitchell Aubusson dotted over to complete a 40-nil shellacking of the Sharks. 

Shark Park Shootout: Round 25, 2017

Up against the reigning premiers and making the dreaded trip to Shark Park, the finals-bound Roosters were up for a tight contest in the second last match of the regular season, made even more daunting with the home side celebrating a trio of milestone achievements.

Former Rooster James Maloney opened the scoring with a penalty goal but Easts would reply with one of their own through the magic boot of Michael Gordon.

The Red, White and Blue then got over the line in quick succession, firstly as Isaac Liu barged over before Blake Ferguson contorted his way to crash over in the corner. 

Cronulla replied with a try to Valentine Holmes off an aggressive grubber kick, but the Roosters stretched their lead with a penalty goal to lead 14-8 with half an hour left in the contest. A Mitchell Aubusson break threatened to extend the scoreline, but a dropped ball from Ferguson allowed the Sharks to hit back.

Luke Keary found himself in the sin bin for a professional foul, and with ten to go the scores were level as their opponents took full advantage of the difference in numbers. 

But a charging Boyd Cordner sealed the result with just seconds left in regular time, earning a penalty for his side as Gordon kicked the Red, White and Blue to a famous victory at Shark Park. 

 

Cronk Masterclass Cruels Sharks: Qualifying Final, 2018

As the Roosters began their finals quest to claim the Premiership, the first challenge would come in the form of a hungry Sharks outfit at the Sydney Football Stadium. 

Despite a strong start to the contest, Easts would concede the first try as their opponents employed some quick hands to dive over in the corner with five minutes gone. 

But the Roosters brought some magic of their own to land their first blow minutes later, as Cooper Cronk went over after regathering his own ricocheting grubber to put the side on the board, going up 6-4 with the successful conversion. 

In a gritty first half contest, the mounting pressure from the Sharks levelled the scores as the Red, White and Blue conceded an uncharacteristic penalty, and while they would threaten on multiple occasions through the remainder of the first half, the Bondi Wall would fail to yield. 

And off the back of a late attacking raid from the home side, Joseph Manu reached out to plant the Steeden on the line, handing the Roosters a 10-6 lead at the break.

Cronulla hit back in the second half to take a two-point lead before the see-sawing contest swung the way of the Tricolours as two quick-fire tries extended the lead to six.

Highlights | Roosters v Sharks

Up 18-12 with ten minutes remaining, the visitors looked likely to level as Luke Lewis crashed over the line, but a mighty defensive effort from Latrell Mitchell dislodged the ball from his grasp.

A field goal to Cronk made the difference more than a converted try, and with five to go a penalty goal ensured the Roosters would go straight through to the Preliminary Final with a 21-12 victory. 

 

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