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The Cronulla Sharks have tackled their way to an impressive yet undisciplined 28-14 win against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Toyota Stadium tonight.
The win puts them at equal top of the NRL table with only four rounds before the final series.
Souths opened the scoring with a penalty goal to halfback Chris Sandow. That penalty was one of 10 the Sharks gave away in the first half. The Sharks hit back soon after to take the lead after centre Ben Pomeroy scored his first of his two back to back tries, the second giving the Sharks a 12-2 lead.
Souths struck back before half time to close the gap to four points after an offload from replacement David Kidwell saw Beau Falloon crash over.
The half time score was 12-8 to the Sharks and the penalty count 10-1 to Souths.
The Sharks wasted little time in second half with winger Luke Covell running onto a long pass from fullback Brett Kearney to score untouched to extend to lead to 16-8.
Between the 55th and 60th minutes, the Sharks extended their lead to 28-8 with two tries. The first of those was a soft try as five eighth Brett Seymour threw a dummy and went through to score untouched. Five minutes later, centre David Simmons intercepted a Sandow pass to run 35 metres to score and the game was all but over.
Souths got the next points through fullback Nathan Merritt, scoring off a Beau Champion pass to make it 28-14 to Cronulla.
Souths had plenty of chances throughout the match but just couldn't break the tough Sharks defence, the best for Souths were Chris Sandow, David Kidwell and David Fa'alogo.
While the Sharks run of wins continues, very few are talking of them as premiership contenders. But they may just have a say on the first Sunday in October if they can keep up this great defence and improve their attack.
Their best players were Paul Gallen, Ben Ross and Ben Pomeroy.
Next week the Sharks take on the Warriors in New Zealand which will be a stern test. The Rabbitohs have a tough game against Manly who will be smarting after a six point loss to Melbourne at Brookvale Oval last night.
Match Results Cronulla Sharks 28 def South Sydney Rabbitohs 14 Round 22 - Saturday August 9th, 2008 7:30pm Venue: Toyota Stadium Referee: Ben Cummins Touch Judges: David Abood, Adam Devcich Video Referee: Bill Harrigan Half time: Sharks 12-8 Crowd: 12,618
Cronulla Sharks 28 Tries: Ben Pomeroy (2), Luke Covell, Brett Seymour, David Simmons Goals: Luke Covell (4/5) South Sydney Rabbitohs 14 Tries: Beau Falloon, Nathan Merritt Goals: Chris Sandow (3/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Paul Gallen (Sharks) 2 Points: Ben Ross (Sharks) 1 Point: Ben Pomeroy (Sharks)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Welcome to live updates of the round 22 NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the South Sydney Rabbitohs played at Toyota Stadium. kick off at 7:30pm Lineups are as follows-
SHARKS: 1. Brett Kearney 2. Misi Taulapapa 3. Ben Pomeroy 4. David Simmons 5. Luke Covell 6. Brett Seymour 7. Brett Kimmorley 8. Ben Ross 9. Isaac De Gois 10. Luke Douglas 11. Paul Gallen 12. Fraser Anderson 15. Grant Millington Interchange: 13. Greg Bird 14. Danny Nutley 16. Adam Peek 17. Terrence Seu Seu RABBITOHS: 1. Nathan Merritt 2. Luke Capewell 3. Fetuli Talanoa 4. Beau Champion 5. Jamie Simpson 6. Craig Wing 7. Chris Sandow 8. Scott Geddes 9. Issac Luke 10. Roy Asotasi (c) 11. Luke Stuart 12. David Fa'alogo 13. John Sutton Interchange: 14. Beau Falloon 15. David Kidwell 17. Michael Greenfield 20. Eddy Pettybourne
Souths to kick off, it's game on!
2 min: Video Ref call on a possiable Souths try to Sandow.
2 min: NO TRY 20mtr restart, Sandow fumbled it while grounding it, a big let off for the Sharks.
3 min: PENALTY Souths, from a kick the Sharks player touched the ball then it was picked up by another sharks player infront of him.
4 min: PENALTY Souths, High tackle by Gallen on Geddes. Sandow to take a shot at goal.
4 min: PENALTY GOAL South Sydney Rabbitohs Souths open the scoring with a penalty goal. South Sydney Rabbitohs 2-0
6 min: PENALTY Souths, around the head, 3 straight to souths
6 min: Kick to thw wing of Simpson but it just beats him to the touch in goal line a close thing there.
8 min: Video Ref call on a possiable Sharks try to Pommeroy. Checking on grounding.
8 min: TRY Cronulla Sharks Great inside run from Pommeroy and does it all himself. Conversion attempt by Luke Covell successful. Cronulla Sharks 6-2
10 min: PENALTY Souths, High tackle by Seymour and he is marched 10 for back chat.
12 min: Champion knocks on with a chance to score, Sharks get a easy let off again.
14 min: GOAL LINE DROPOUT Souths, they fail to clean up a Sharks grubber kick and knock it on ingoal.
15 min: Seymour kicks for Covell but it just goes touch ingoal in front of him.
16 min: PENALTY Souths Offside, thats 6-0 the penalty count now.
19 min: PENALTY Souths, Sharks offside on thier own line. You would think the next one would have to be sin binned.
19 min: Intercept by Covell, he streaks away, well not streaks he is the slowest winger in the NRL. They pull him down and then Kearney loses it on the next tackle and gives it back to souths.
23 min: GOAL LINE DROPOUT Souths.
25 min: TRY Cronulla Sharks Looked like Bird flicked it out the back and it touched a souths players hand and Pommeroy came back in field had plenty of work to do to get over the line and get the ball for his 2nd try of the night. Conversion attempt by Luke Covell successful. Cronulla Sharks 12-2
28 min: SCRUM SOUTHS
30 min: 40/20!!! Sandow, SCRUM Souths.
31 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Great offload from Kidwell to Falloon and he crashes over, all from the Sandow 40/20. Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow successful. Cronulla Sharks 12-8
34 min: PENALTY Sharks, High tackle, Sharks 1st penalty of the night.
35 min: SCRUM Souths, Kimmorley knocks on down in souths red zone.
36 min: PENALTY Souths, player held out of it from a kick., Then marched 10 for back chat.
36 min: PENALTY Souths, too slow in the play the ball. Thats 9-1 the penalty count. Someone has to go to the sin bin.
37 min: PENALTY Souths, Covell goes up for a bomb, spills it forward and Pomeroy who picks it up is offside.
HALF TIME Sharks 12 Souths 8
Sharks have been their own worst enemy in the 1st half but their defence has held strong. Souths need to spread the ball more and try and run around them.
Sharks kick off and the 2nd half is under way.
43 min: PENALTY Sharks, Kidwell was working the head.
44 min: TRY Cronulla Sharks Great long pass from Kearney to Covell gives him a clear run of about 20mtrs to the line. Conversion attempt by Luke Covell unsuccessful. Cronulla Sharks 16-8
46 min: PENALTY Sharks, for a lifting tackle, Sharks didn't find touch!
47 min: SCRUM Souths, Gallen knocks on inside his own 10mtr line. He has made a few errors tonight Gallen.
49 min: PENALTY Sharks, markers not straight. Penalty count now 10-4 to Souths.
52 min: PENALTY Souths, player taken out before he got the ball. Souths on the attack now.
53 min: GOAL LINE DROPOUT Sharks, nice kick from Sandow and Covell had to knock it dead.
54 min: PENALTY Sharks, Kidwell penalised for a grapple.
55 min: TRY Cronulla Sharks Seymour threw a dummy and just went straight a hole and scored a very very soft try. Conversion attempt by Luke Covell successful. Cronulla Sharks 22-8
60 min: TRY Cronulla Sharks Intercept by Simmons who runs 35mtrs to score untouched. Thats pretty much the ball game now, it's just a matter of how many points now. Conversion attempt by Luke Covell successful. Cronulla Sharks 28-8
63 min: SCRUM Souths, knock on by the Sharks while attempting a intercept.
64 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Merritt gets a great pass from Champion and runs 30 odd metres to score. Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow successful. Cronulla Sharks 28-14
The game is starting to open up now, souths back within 14 points would be a huge effort to come back and win this one.
68 min: SCRUM Souths, Taulapapa knocks on from a Sandow kick.
69 min: PENALTY Sharks, hands on the head says referee Ben Cummins. Penalty count 11-6 Souths, 2nd half 5-1 Sharks.
73 min: SCRUM Sharks, nearly a 40/20 by Sandow but his foot was on the line and not behind it, great kick all the same.
77 min: SCRUM Sharks, Falloon knocks on.
78 min: SCRUM Souths, Simmons knocks on.
FULL TIME CRONULLA SHARKS 28 SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS 14
Sharks now join Manly and Melbourne on top of the table and have pretty much sealed a top 4 spot. For Souths, they had plenty of chances but couldn't break the Sharks defence. The Rabbitohs season is as good as over now.
Thanks for your company. Good Night.