It was never a promising season for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
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A clear, cool and night for both sides , A crowd of 17268 saw the Sharks crumble under the Roosters 14-16. The Sharks second rower, Wade Graham, celebrated 200 NRL games this evening, while Roosters forward Dylan Napa celebrates 100 NRL games.
A penalty goal early on saw the Sharks take themselves out 2-nil, but the Roosters responded with a penalty goal of their own, as the two sides traded body blows in the opening stages.
A try to Isaac Liu as he pushes through the Sharks central defence, and the Roosters convert to see themselves hit a 6-point lead. Only 10min later, Blake Ferguson pushes through the Sharks left edge, unconverted unfortunately, and the Roosters push out to 12-2.
The Sharks needed a way back into the contest fast. It came from a perfect James Maloney kick that Valentine Holmes swooped onto. The half then nailed the gimme conversion to make it 12-8 Roosters at the break.
It was a first half full of errors and penalties that would make any coaches blood curdle and didn't show either side as a true top contender to the Melbourne Storm. .
The second half began with the same aggressive grinding football we've come to expect from the top few sides. The scoring plays were few and far between, as neither team could keep a grip on the ball.
A penalty goal in the 54th minute saw the Roosters push their score out 14-8. Outside of that, the game continued to ebb and flow through penalties and errors,in front of a restless crowd that had jammed into Shark Park.
Some touch paper was lit in the final 10, after a controversial sin-bin against Luke Keary saw the Roosters down to 12 men. Cronulla took immediate advantage, Luke Lewis hurtled into the missing space besides the posts to restore us back to 14-all.
Both teams couldn't quite position themselves for a winning drop goal, so it was destined for extra-time. That was until a ruck penalty from Paul Gallen gifted Michael Gordon an easy conversion that sent the Roosters into second.
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 14 - Sydney Roosters 16
Venue: Southern Cross Group Stadium
Halftime Score: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 8 Sydney Roosters 12
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Michael Gordon
2 points - Blake Ferguson
1 points - Luke Lewis
CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS (14)
Tries: Valentine Holmes, Luke Lewis
Field Goals: James Maloney (0/1)
Conversions: James Maloney (2/2)
Penalty Goals: James Maloney (1/1)
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (16)
Tries: Isaac Liu, Blake Ferguson
Field Goals: Mitchell Pearce (0/1)
Conversions: Michael Gordon (1/2)
Penalty Goals: Michael Gordon (3/3)