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5 days ago
Cronulla have scored four second-half tries to overcome the Wests Tigers 24-16 at Southern Cross Group Stadium in front of 13,000 fans on Sunday afternoon.
Each side dominated one half - the Wests Tigers with the better of the running prior to the change of ends. After surviving an early Sharks' onslaught which included a Bunker-denied no try to Luke Lewis, the sides traded early penalty goals, the visitors eventually taking a 4-2 lead after 16 minutes.
It was a penalty that helped the Tigers to the first try of the afternoon, Elijah Taylor dummying before the line off a repeat set for his side, jumping over to score the first meat pie of the game.
In trying conditions - plenty of wind and sporadic rain - the Wests Tigers held on to a 10-2 lead right through to the break and looked very solid in defence.
After the break though, was a different story. Their line speed dropped off and it invited the Sharks back in, in a big way. Co-captain Paul Gallen was the first to take advantage when he barged over in the 49th minute, and it would be 'Big Gal' who then helped Valentine Holmes to the hosts' second try just five minutes later. Fielding a kick inside his own 10m (who knows why), he found Holmes in-field... the Maroons livewire finding a path through some broken defence from the Tigers and running 90 metres in scenes reminiscent of his try for Queensland last Wednesday.
Leading 14-10, the Sharks pushed on and at the hour mark Edrick Lee had their third try after some ordinary edge defending allowed him to go over in the corner. The Tigers hit back fourteen from fulltime when Chris Lawrence made a clever break, turning it inside for Tui Lolohea who completed the run to the tryline.
The final fifteen turned into a tense arm-wrestle, but it was a Jesse Ramien break that secured the result for the Sharks, completing a strong second-half and seeing the black, white and blue do enough to continue a successful recent run at home.
Next weekend they'll look to make it five straight at the Woolooware ground when they host Brisbane, while the Wests Tigers are at home to Canberra at their Campbelltown home venue.
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 24 - Wests Tigers 16
Venue: Southern Cross Group Stadium
Halftime Score: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 2 Wests Tigers 10
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Paul Gallen
2 points - Josh Reynolds
1 points - Matt Moylan
CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS (24)
Tries: Paul Gallen, Valentine Holmes, Edrick Lee, Jesse Ramien
Conversions: Chad Townsend (3/4)
Penalty Goals: Chad Townsend (1/1)
WESTS TIGERS (16)
Tries: Elijah Taylor, Tuimoala Lolohea
Conversions: Esan Marsters (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Esan Marsters (2/2)