Today Sam Bourke takes a look at the optimism in the water out Bondi way, as the Sydney Roosters loo...
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Departing Brett Hodgson won't get a fairytale ending to his NRL career, but his statistics and accolades speak for themselves with the veteran easily one of Tiger's best players tonight.
Cronulla officials and Paul Gallen will be sweating bullets this weekend, as he was placed on report for a high tackle on Wests Tigers forward Ryan O'Hara in the second half. If charged, Gallen could be facing a few weeks on the sidelines which would be devastating to a Sharks side seeking a premiership.
With the Sharks leading 20-6 at half time, "The Brett Combination" of Kimmorley and Seymour provided good leadership and showed their desire for a maiden NRL premiership. The halves combination inspired the Sharks team to a solid victory leading up to the finals, silencing critics who believed they may be too rattled by the recent Bird controversy to be any threat this finals series.
Cronulla were underway early, scoring tries in the 9th, 12th and 20th minute to be in front 20-0. Wests Tigers failed to show any intensity early in the first half, and it almost seemed as if they didn't even know that it was a 'must win' match for them.
The Tigers started to lift their intensity at the end of the first half and beginning of the second, but they simply couldn't match the level of control displayed by the Cronulla Sharks.
Kimmorley and Seymour both controlled the pace of the match in the second half, consistently sending the ball into touch on the final tackle option. The Tigers had little to no chance to gain any momentum, and their frustration was clearly shown in their fail to add any points in the second half.
While Cronulla will try not to look too far ahead, they will be certainly preparing for an intense finals campaign in search of their first NRL premiership since joining in 1967.
Match Details Cronulla Sharks 32 def Wests Tigers 6 Round 25 - Friday August 29th, 2008 7:35pm Venue: Leichhardt Oval Referee: Sean Hampstead Touch Judges: Steve Carrall, Tony De Las Heras Video Referee: Steve Clark Half Time: Sharks 20-6 Crowd: 10,766
Cronulla Sharks 32 Tries: Misi Taulapapa, Luke Covell, Fraser Anderson, Brett Seymour, Brett Kearney Goals: Luke Covell (6/6)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Brett Kimmorley (Sharks) 2 Points: Brett Seymour (Sharks) 1 Point: Chris Heighington (Tigers)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary