In an entertaining and enthralling match, the Cronulla Sharks have cause one of the biggest upsets of the year, defeating the much fancied Sydney Roosters by 26 to 12 at Aussie Stadium today.
The experts said it would never happen but nobody told the Sharks they couldn?t match with the big boys, especially without their star play maker Brett Kimmorley ruled out.
The Roosters started the first 20 minutes in positive fashion until Sharks' half Michael Sullivan came onto the field in the middle stages, sparking Cronulla?s attack and strengthening their defence. With the Roosters showing signs of wear and tear, the Sharks led at the break by 8 to 6.
The Roosters struggled to match it against the underdog Sharks pack, dropping a mammoth amount of ball inside their own half and allowing Cronulla Sharks to finish with an impressive display.
The Roosters need to forget this game as quick as possible in their march towards the minor premiership. The Sharks on the other hand are now strong playoff contenders, and now look more than likely to give the other front runners a run for their money.
Aussie Stadium Referee: Tim Mander Video Referee: Graeme West Touch Judges: Paul Kalina, Steve Carrall
Scorers: ROOSTERS 12 Tries: Minichiello, Ricketson Goals: Fitzgibbon 2/2 defeated by SHARKS 26 Tries: McGoldrick, Merritt, Vagana, Peachey Goals: Hilder 5/5
By the clock: A late change for the Sharks team with star halfback Brett Kimmorley pulling out and Jason Kent will replace him; Justin Hodges pulls out of the Roosters side.
0 min: Roosters kick off
8 min: News - Luke Ricketson intercepts right on his own try line, he runs over 40 metres before being tackled.
9 min: News - The Sharks survive a big scare. Brad Fittler put up a big bomb, Anthony Minichiello chasing the kick contests the ball in the air with David Peachey; Minichiello was ruled to have knocked it on before it was battered back to Chris Flannery who placed the ball down over the try line.
16 min: Try - Minichiello (Roosters). Anthony Minichiello fools the Sharks defenders and creates the gap to score the first four pointer of today. Craig Fitzgibbon converts. 6-0 Roosters
17 min: News - Craig Wing kicks a 40/20 to give the Roosters another try scoring opportunity.
22 min: Penalty Goal ? Hilder (Sharks). Right in front 10 metres out. 6-2 Roosters
28 min: Try ? McGoldrick (Sharks). Following a Roosters mistake; The Sharks spread it wide straight away, Ryan McGoldrick steps inside to score. Hilder converts. 8-6 Sharks
30 min: News - The Roosters create some space after Brad Fittler put Chad Robinson into some space but unfortunately Brad Fittler knocked it on close to the line.
38 min: Try ? Merritt (Sharks). Michael Sullivan catches the Roosters napping setting Nathan Merritt up for an excellent try. Hilder converts. 14-6 Sharks
Half Time The Roosters can start to panic because The Sharks are looking mighty impressive especially half Michael Sullivan who has been nothing but a thorn in the Roosters side. Possession for the Teams: Roosters 43% - Sharks 57% Completion rates: Roosters 70% - Sharks 76%
40 min: Sharks kick off
45 min: Try ? Vagana (Sharks). Phil Bailey offloads it to Vagana who spins through several Roosters defenders before scoring. Hilder converts. 20-6 Sharks
48 min: News - Michael Sullivan does it again this time tackling Anthony Minichiello in a try saving situation.
51 min: Try ? Ricketson (Roosters). A dummy by Brett Finch fools the Sharks and sets Luke Ricketson up for the try. Fitzgibbon converts. 20-12 Sharks
53 min: News ? David Peachey throws a forward pass to Phil Bailey before putting the ball down over the line.
60 min: News - The Roosters drop another ball inside their own half giving the Sydney supporters and coaches plenty of grief in a shocking second half display.
63 min: Try ? Peachey (Sharks). David Peachey puts a grubber into the in-goal area, Anthony Minichiello being casual presumed it would roll over the dead ball line but Peachey put a hand to it just before it rolled over the dead ball line. Hilder converts. 26-12 Sharks
68 min: News - Peter Cusack is out for the rest of the match with a jarred ankle. Greg Bird has come off the field with severe cramp.
76 min: News - Nice play by the Roosters creating an overlap but the last pass goes out missing its target summing up the Roosters day.
Full Time The Sharks can pat themselves on the back in an impressive display against the much favoured Roosters. The Roosters were terrible especially in attack coughing up the ball far too many times especially in the second half. Possession for the Teams: Roosters 42% - Sharks 58% Completion rates: Roosters 74% - Sharks 53% ----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - M Sullivan (Sharks) 2 - P Bailey (Sharks) 1 - D Peachey (Sharks) -----------------------------------------Like