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The Cronulla Sharks have held on in a thrilling finish at Mt. Smart Stadium to defeat the NZ Warriors, 18-14 in front of 15,290 fans.
The traveling Sharks troubled the Warriors across the park as free-floating style of the Warriors was disrupted this afternoon.
Jonathan Wright claimed the first point of the contest thanks to a beautiful inside pass from Wade Graham. The Sharks flying early, 4-0 with Todd Carney's conversion going wide.
Before Ben Pomeroy left the field in the second half due to concussion. He added his name to the scorers sheet with a sneaky play as he darted through the centre of a scrum as it broke. Cronulla out to a 10-0 lead after 25 minutes.
The man they call the Beast, Manu Vatuvei, in a losing side showed his talents posting a double. His first came 10 minutes before the half time break as he danced through the Sharks defence to reach out and score. Warriors struck back, but trailed 10-4 at half time.
We have had some contenders for try of the year already, but Nathan Stapleton's four-pointer has been added to the list. Andrew Fifita and Ben Pomeroy involved in the lead up as the Sharks went 60 metres off a Warriors error. The was concern for Pomeroy who slammed his head into the turf which saw him concussed and taken off the field. Carney extended the lead to 16-6, 10 minutes until the second half.
The Kiwis were filled with hope of a fight back inside the final 10 minutes of the game. Their hope was dashed as the Sharks held on to win 18-14 despite two late tries to Konrard Hurrell and Manu Vatuvei. The polish of the home side missing as their finals chances all but over now.
New Zealand Warriors 14 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 18
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium
Halftime Score: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 10-4
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Paul Gallen
2 points - Andrew Fifita
1 point - Bryce Gibbs
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS (14)
Tries: Manu Vatuvei (2), Konrad Hurrell
Conversions: Shaun Johnson (1/3)
CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS (18)
Tries: Jonathan Wright, Ben Pomeroy, Nathan Stapleton
Conversions: Todd Carney (2/3)
Penalty Goals: Todd Carney (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary