The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The Cronulla Sharks have beaten the Newcaslte Knights 30-24 in sensational circumstances this evening.
The Sharks had Paul Gallen sent from the field in the 66th minute for a high tackle on Sean Rudder. At that stage Newcastle led 22-20 but the brilliance of Brett Kimmorley was too much for the Knights, who have lost their second match on the trot and must now face the daunting task of playing the Broncos at the grand opening of Suncorp Stadium next Sunday.
The Sharks face off against the Raiders at Shark park next Friday, full of confidence in the knowledge they have won their last three matches and are right back in the hunt for a coveted semi final berth.
On tonight?s form, Brett Kimmorley should be the halfback for NSW. He totally outplayed Andrew Johns in every aspect of the game and his leadership in a pressure game was nothing short of inspirational.
The Sharks led 14-0 early on, only to find themselves trailing 16-14 at half time after the Knights scored three tries in seven minutes. Newcastle further extended their lead to 22-14 in the second half but the Sharks never gave up with Kimmorley providing the spark to lift the Sharks and get them home.
The big talking point will be the sendoff of Paul Gallen who faces a lengthy stint on the sidelines after a nasty high tackle on the Knights Sean Rudder.
SHARKS 30 Tries: Rieck, Kimmorley x 3, Bickerstaff Goals: Kimmorley 5/6
KNIGHTS 24 Tries: Buderus x 2, Johns, O'Davis Goals: Johns 4/5
By the clock:
NEWS: Robbie O'Davis plays his 200th first grade game tonight. Well done Robbie.
6th min: TRY - Sharks. Matt Rieck races away to score untouched after Brett Kimmorley interecepts a Sean Rudder pass and Rieck does the rest. Conversion successful. Sharks 6-0.
19th min: PENALTY GOAL - Sharks. Brett Kimmorley extends the Sharks lead to eight points. Cronulla have been very sharp in the opening stages of this match. Sharks 8-0.
27th min: TRY - Sharks. Brett Kimmorley takes his second intercept to score untouched, under the posts and really throw the cat amogst the pigeons. Conversion successful. Sharks 14-0.
33rd min: TRY - Knights. Danny Buderus scores next to the posts after running out of dummy half and finding no one in front of him. Conversion successful. Sharks 14-6.
37th min: TRY - Knights. Andrew Johns scores in the corner to bring the Knights right back into the contest. Conversion hits the uprigh and waved away. Sharks 14-10.
40th min: TRY - Knights. Buderus scores under the posts right on the stroke of half time after the Knights moved the ball with consumate ease through some tired Sharks defence. Conversion successful. Knights 16-14.
HALF TIME: Up until the 30th minute, it was all the Sharks but three quick tries by the Knights sees them hold a slender two point lead at half time. Johns, Kennedy and Buderus have come to life and are causing the Sharks massive problems right across the park.
49th min: TRY - Knights. O'Davis scores under the posts to celebrate his 200th game in style. The second half has been free flowing, end to end football. Conversion successful. Knights 22-14.
61st min: TRY - Sharks. Matt Bickerstaff runs onto a well timed Brett Kimmorley pass to reduce the defict and put the Sharks in with a fighting chance with under 20 minutes to go. Conversion successful. Knights 22-20.
NEWS: Paul Gallen has been sent off for a high tackle on Sean Rudder.
66th min: PENALTY GOAL - Knights. Johns kicks a penalty goal to extend the Knights lead to four points. Knights 24-20
69th min: TRY - Sharks. Jye Mullane grubbers through and hits the posts with Brett Kimmorely racing through to score under the posts. Conversion successful. Sharks 26-24.
78th min: TRY - Sharks. Brett Kimmorley gets his third try of the night in what has been his best performance in 12 months. Kimmorley has totally outplayed Johns in every facet of the game. Conversion unsuccessful. Sharks 30-24.
FULL TIME: The Sharks have won 30-24 in sensational circumstances. Cronulla finished with twelve men but Brett Kimmorley played a lone hand and got the Sharks home for their second win in ten matches against the Knights in Newcastle.
Leagueunlimited player of the year points:
3 ? Brett Kimmorley (Sharks) 2 ? Danny Buderus (Knights) 1 ? Pat Gibson (Sharks)