Cronulla comeback stuns Warriors

A second-half comeback from the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks has tonight seen them 20-19 victors over the Warriors at Toyota Stadium in front of 9,271 cold and wet fans.

The Sharks started the game strongly, opening the scoring after five minutes through a rampaging Ben Pomeroy, but it was the Warriors who controlled proceedings in the first half. They responded to the Cronulla try with 13 points in ordinary conditions - tries to Kevin Locke and Shaun Johnson pushed the visiting side to a 12-6 lead before a surprising James Maloney field-goal gave the Warriors a seven-point buffer.

The first half had largely been a defensive effort from both sides - Cronulla forced countless drop-outs and led the penalty count but couldn't convert to points often enough to trouble the Warriors.

A Todd Carney penalty goal on the halftime siren negated Maloney's 36th-minute field goal, the margin cut to five at the break.

It would be the Warriors who started the second half in better form, Konrad Hurrell continuing his golden run of tries for the club in his debut season. While Maloney missed the conversion, a penalty goal made up for it minutes later, the Warriors taking an 11 point lead into the hour mark, the scoreboard reading 19-8.

From that moment on, the momentum swung to the Sharks for the remaining twenty minutes. Several repeat sets in succession eventually told, a long range effort putting Jeff Robson in under the posts. Robson repeated the effort a few minutes later, but not before Todd Carney kicked a 40/20 under immense pressure, gaining the Sharks a set right on the Warriors line.

The conversion put the Sharks in front by one point with just under seven minutes remaining. A chance came for the Warriors with two remaining after a dubious forward pass was missed in a chip-chase movement and a line dropout was forced, but a last-tackle surge at the line by Konrad Hurrell was repelled by strong Sharks defence and the home side played out the final minute to keep themselves in the lead and claim the two competition points.

Both sides enjoy the luxury of the bye next week, for Cronulla it ensure they stay in or around the top four (tonights win has them placed fourth, albeit temporarily), while the Warriors are now sitting in 9th but four points adrift of the top eight. They'll host the Cowboys in a fortnight at home wearing a stunning black & pink jersey, while the Sharks travel to Brisbane in Round 17.

Match Details
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 20 defeated New Zealand Warriors 19
National Rugby League - Round 15 - Saturday June 16, 2012 5:30pm
Venue: Toyota Stadium
Referee: Ashley Klein and Steve Lyons
Video Referee: Russell Smith
Touch Judges: Adam Reid and Dave Munro
Crowd: 9,271
Halftime: Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 8 New Zealand Warriors 13

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Jeff Robson (2 Tries)
2 Points - Kevin Locke (1 Try)
1 Point - Ben Ross

Cronulla Sutherland Sharks (20)
Tries: Ben Pomeroy, Jeff Robson (2)
Conversions: Todd Carney (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Todd Carney (1/1)

New Zealand Warriors (19)
Tries: Kevin Locke, Shaun Johnson, Konrad Hurrell
Field Goals: James Maloney (1/1)
Conversions: James Maloney (2/3)
Penalty Goals: James Maloney (1/1)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary A big night for both sides, Cronulla still need to keep winning to stay in touch with the leading group of teams on the ladder, while the Warriors are plotting their rise up the table after a sluggish start to the season.
The big news? Gallen OUT, Fifita OUT, Graham OUT for the Sharkies. Tyson Frizell, Sam Tagataese and Jon Green are the new faces... meanwhile the Warriors lose Manu Vatuvei, which will see debutant Omar Slaimankhel come in on the wing. Mateo and Matulino drop back to the bench with Packer and Rapira to start.
Warriors onto the park in their white strip, the Sharks now wander onto Toyota Stadium, wearing a special members jersey which features the names of some of their club members.
We're underway at Toyota Stadium! Warriors put boot-to-ball, Cronulla take first possession.
2 min: No errors from either side just yet but both finding their feet in very slippery, damp conditions.
5 min: TRY
TRY Cronulla Sutherland Sharks
Scored by Ben Pomeroy. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney successful.
End to end sets give way as Kevin Locke loses the ball - a play later the Sharks go down the short side on the right, Ben Pomeroy clambers over several players and reaches out to score. Carney nails the extras from a wide position, contrary to his efforts on Wednesday for NSW.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 6-0
7 min: The following set from the try sees Carney put in a deep fifth tackle kick which rolls dead. Warriors 20m restart.
9 min: Maloney grubbers through the Sharks and the ball hits the corner post, 20m restart now for Cronulla.
10 min: Todd Carney puts a last tackle kick out on the full. Not good from the NSW five-eighth. Warriors scrum on halfway.
10 min: Ashley Klein giving a scrum school as the sides struggle to pack properly. Warriors eventually come away with it and make good metres up the middle, their first real chance to attack.
11 min: VIDEO REFEREE - possible try to the Warriors... Kevin Locke's claimed a try with the lightest of touches after a Shaun Johnson grubber. Decision pending...
12 min: TRY
TRY New Zealand Warriors
Scored by Kevin Locke. Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.
Maloney stabs it through the line and it looks destined to roll dead, but Matthew Wright's patience in allowing it to do so costs his side - Kevin Locke races through and gets a few fingers on it! The try is awarded, Maloney converts off the post, scores level.
6 all
15 min: The Sharks now making good metres up the centre of the park, their big men all taking good hit-ups. Last tackle bomb from Carney is contested by 3 or 4 players, but from nowhere Kevin Locke swept in and grabbed it out of the air.
18 min: Cronulla now right up on the Warriors line... VIDEO REFEREE possible Sharks try for Jeremy Smith. Checking obstruction and who's touched the ball in the lead up... DECISION PENDING.
18 min: Everyone's onside, the contest is dubious - looks like a Sharks knock-on from here. And that's the case. NO TRY, Warriors handover 10m out.
19 min: Penalty for Cronulla - the Warriors putting themselves under lots of pressure here with poor discipline. Cronulla start the set 20m from the Warriors line.
20 min: Omar Slaimankhel trapped in-goal off a neat Todd Carney grubber, line dropout now and more pressure for the Sharks to apply on the Warriors.
23 min: Another penalty for Cronulla, Warriors not onside as the Sharks launch an assault on the tryline...
24 min: Slaimankhel trapped in goal by a similar grubber, another line dropout...
26 min: An error from Cronulla takes the pressure down, Warriors scrum 40m from their own line.
29 min: The Warriors manage to put the ball deep into the Sharks in-goal on the last after a good running set, but Matthew Wright storms his way out of the in-goal, just.
32 min: Pressure now being applied by the visitors, but Cronulla's defence so far is withstanding the test.
33 min: VIDEO REFEREE - Shaun Johnson has a four-pointer for the Warriors, or so he thinks. Checking a possible knock-on...
34 min: TRY
TRY New Zealand Warriors
Scored by Shaun Johnson. Conversion attempt by James Maloney successful.
The Warriors take the lead, Shaun Johnson the beneficiary of a mix-up from Carney & Pomeroy for the Sharks. He fights his way to get the bouncing ball to the ground. Maloney adds the extras - hitting the opposite upright to last time but still converting!
New Zealand Warriors 12-6
36 min: FIELD GOAL
FIELD GOAL New Zealand Warriors
Field goal attempt by James Maloney successful.
Intriguing decision a few minutes out from halftime, Maloney unexpectedly nails a field goal from a long way out to put his side seven in front.
New Zealand Warriors 13-6
37 min: ON REPORT - Ben Pomeroy (Sharks) has put a neat little forearm on Ben Henry. Penalty Warriors.
38 min: A poor pass sees Simon Mannering lose the ball into a Sharks player. Cronulla scrum 11m from their own line.
40 min: Penalty to Cronulla with 45 seconds to halftime, the Warriors players coming back onside just wandering into the path of the markers. Count is 4-2 to the Sharks... Carney will go for two.
40 min: PENALTY GOAL
PENALTY GOAL Cronulla Sutherland Sharks
Penalty goal attempt by Todd Carney successful.
Cronulla shorten the lead to five points on halftime.
New Zealand Warriors 13-8
40 min: HALFTIME at Toyota Stadium, anyone's game in the wet here, the Warriors with the ascendency but they'd be annoyed to have given up the two-pointer right on the siren. The Warriors certainly looking the better of the two teams - defence will be the key in these conditions though.
42 min: Superb defence with three Warriors defenders converging on the Sharks, forcing a line dropout.
46 min: Matulino has gone off for the Warriors looking worse for wear.
46 min: James Maloney puts a massive spiralling bomb which forces a knock-on from Nathan Stapleton. Warriors scrum 10m from the Sharks line...
47 min: From the scrum they go down the short side and Konrad Hurrell puts it into touch. Scrum to reset now with the Sharks feeding.
50 min: TRY
TRY New Zealand Warriors
Scored by Konrad Hurrell. Conversion attempt by James Maloney unsuccessful.
Villian to hero in a matter of minutes, Konrad Hurrell is the tryscorer after the Warriors regained possession. He went himself for the corner and overpowered several Sharks defenders to get it down in the corner! Maloney from just a metre in from the sideline misses the conversion.
New Zealand Warriors 17-8
56 min: PENALTY GOAL
PENALTY GOAL New Zealand Warriors
Penalty goal attempt by James Maloney successful.
Two more for the Warriors, Maloney adds a penalty goal to extend the visitors' lead to eleven.
New Zealand Warriors 19-8
59 min: Cronulla with some possession in the Warriors danger zone now, they'll need to score soon to stay in touch...
59 min: The Warriors defence is up in the face of the Sharks, Bill Tupou forces a tip-on pass from Colin Best that goes well and truly forward.
61 min: Penalties 6-3 to the Sharks at this stage, they venture into Warriors territory again here and really need points.
63 min: Kevin Locke is trapped in-goal, another line drop-out forced by Cronulla.
64 min: Warriors lose it inside their own half - Sharks scrum 20m out!
9,271 through the gates here at Toyota Stadium - kudos to all who've braved the cold, wet conditions.
65 min: Last tackle bomb ends up in the hands of the Warriors, and they work it away. Time starting to run out for the home side.
69 min: VIDEO REFEREE possible Sharks try - Jeff Robson has gone over to score, checking grounding, as well as an earlier obstruction by the Warriors.
70 min: TRY
TRY Cronulla Sutherland Sharks
Scored by Jeff Robson. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney successful.
After all the goalline attack, the Sharks try a long-range effort and Jeff Robson is the man who scores the try, after being put into space and diving from about 5 metres out to slide over the line. Carney makes no mistake right in front, ten to go and it's five the difference.
New Zealand Warriors 19-14
71 min: Todd Carney nails a 40/20 for Cronulla, he was smashed when he kicked it, Locke bats it back in but his foot was in touch attempting to do so. Sharks scrum 10m out.
73 min: TRY
TRY Cronulla Sutherland Sharks
Scored by Jeff Robson. Conversion attempt by Todd Carney successful.
On the back of the 40/20 the Sharks are in! Jeff Robson gets a double after taking on the line and dummying through a number of lazy defenders. Carney near to the posts... converts and puts the Sharks in front by 1 point with seven left!
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 20-19
75 min: A long fifth tackle kick goes dead from Cronulla, a 20m restart now for the Warriors.
76 min: Nothing option for the Warriors on the last sees Colin Best return the ball to the Sharks 10m line to start the set.
77 min: A superb chip-chase up the middle, Locke gets the ball from Maloney's kick through, taps it on forward to a teammate but the referees let it go on. The next play they force a drop-out.
78 min: Konrad Hurrell tries burrow over on the last out wide... he's short! Tackled, handover!
79 min: Sharks with a scrumfeed on their own 10m line after a one-on-one strip from the Warriors is ruled a knock-on.
80 min: Penalty Cronulla, James Maloney not onside at the scrum. That should be the game.
FULLTIME at Toyota Stadium - Cronulla have come home with a soaking wet sail to defeat the Warriors at home and keep pace with the leading pack.

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