Saturday May 17, 2014 @ 05:30pm
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Wests Tigers
Shark Park
Half time Score: 8
Crowd: 15869
Half time Score: 10

Match Review

An early penalty offered Cronulla the opportunity to take first points after Cory Paterson was pinged for holding down Luke Lewis in front of the uprights. Michael Gordon took up the offer and converted the penalty into points in the 6th minute.  

A succession of penalties then helped the Wests Tigers gain some field position, but it did not help them crack the strong Cronulla defence. The Sharks managed to withhold the onslaught until the 23rd minute, when a video referee decision awarded David Nofoaluma the first try of the match. Pat Richards failed to convert the try from the sideline but more than made up for this error when he scored in the opposite corner minutes later. With the try converted by Richards, Wests were leading 10-2 with 12 minutes left in the half. 

Two penalties to Cronulla helped them to regain some field position, and soon after Sam Tagataese pushed through Wests' defence to cross the line. Michael Gordon converted to bring Cronulla back within two points.

It appeared that Pat Richards had scored his second try of the night after racing 90 metres down the field in the 35th minute. However, the video referee reflected on the play, and it appeared that Chris Lawrence had knocked the ball out of a Cronulla player's hands before Richards gained possession. Thus, the try was disallowed.

The first half ended with an unsuccessful penalty goal attempt from Michael Gordon on the siren, which fell just shy of the posts. Wests took first half honours, with the Tigers up 10-8 at half time.

The second half started with a flurry of tries with Cronulla scoring in the 47th minute. A great pass from Todd Carney put Paul Gallen through a gap, and there was nothing stopping the captain from crossed the line. Minutes later, Gallen was involved in another try for Cronulla, putting Michael Gordon through a hole in the Wests' defence to score back to back tries for the Sharks. Gordon converted both tries, and Cronulla looked to have regained command of the match with a lead of 20-10. 

Soon after, Cory Paterson scored under the posts, after a well directed pass from Luke Brooks let him stroll through the Cronulla defence. Once again the crowd witnessed back to back tries, this time through Chris Lawrence after Robbie Farah and Luke Brooks helped break open the line. Pat Richards converted both tries to put Wests in front 22-20 with 20 minutes remaining.

While both teams had plenty of opportunities in the final quarter of the game, neither had enough to break the stalemate of each other's solid defence and Wests held on to their two point lead. Corey Paterson was a stand out for the Tigers, both in attack and defence. Farah and Brooks were also very commanding, helping Wests gain a lot of field position and momentum throughout the night. Paul Gallen was almost faultless, and stood out for the Sharks despite the loss.

Players of the Match

3. Cory Paterson

2. Luke Brooks

1. Paul Gallen

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