12 hours ago - 4 Likes
Ross, White sent off as Sharks pip Storm
Cronulla prop Ben Ross and Melbourne counterpart Brett White were both sent off in a dramatic 17-16 NRL win by the Sharks at Olympic Park, with former Storm star Brett Kimmorley kicking the winning field goal.
Ross got his marching orders from referee Tony Archer for elbowing Cooper Cronk in the head just after the Storm halfback had kicked to Israel Folau for Melbourne's third try which levelled the scores at 16-16 in the 65th minute.
White was sent off for retaliating and punching Ross in the head.
It continued an eventful start to the season for Ross, who lost three teeth and suffered heavy concussion in a heavy head clash with Manly's Josh Perry last week.
Both sides made a number of handling errors in the final 10 minutes.
Cronk missed a long-range field goal for Melbourne, only for Kimmorley to make no mistake at the other end, slotting a 35m effort in the 79th minute.
It was Melbourne's first home loss since going down to the NZ Warriors late in 2006.
Sharks lock Greg Bird set up the second try for Kearney, powering through some shonky defence by the Storm before setting up Kearney for the easiest of four-pointers.
Only poor goalkicking from Luke Covell, who could only convert one of the Sharks' three tries, prevented the visitors from taking a bigger lead.
Centre Russ Aitken got Melbourne on the scoreboard in the 15th minute, taking a fine pass from Cronk and crashing over with three Sharks defenders on his back.
Aitken was bleeding profusely after copping an accidental knee to the head while grounding the ball.
White scored Melbourne's second try in the 20th minute, barging through the Sharks' defensive line.
Impressive skipper Cameron Smith gave Melbourne the chance to grab the halftime lead with a brilliant 40-20 kick in the 39th minute, but the Storm were unable to manufacture a third try and trailed 14-12 at the interval.
The second half was a war of attrition.
Covell missed the opportunity to double the Sharks' lead with a missed penalty in the 51st minute, although he made amends 11 minutes later.
Folau levelled the scores at 16-16 in the 65th minute in the play which led to the sendings-off of Ross and White.
But Smith was unable to put the home side ahead, missing the conversion attempt.