Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
108 mins ago
Fulltime score: Round 8 MELBOURNE STORM 10 v CRONULLA SHARKS 30
The Cronulla Sharks have come away convincing 30-10 winners over the Melbourne at Olympic Park tonight.
With Brett Kimmorley calling the shots, the Sharks never looked like losing.
Cronulla opened the scoring after just five minutes when lock forward Paul Gallen ran onto a Kimmorley pass.
The visitors continued to dominate play but had to wait another 20 minutes to add to their score when winger Luke Covell slotted an easy penalty goal. Covell?s two-pointer followed a sensational 60 metre run up the park from prop Hutch Maiava [pictured]. Moments later the Storm were found to be off-side, and probably fortunate to be trailing by just 8-0.
But the Sharks were not to be denied with David Peachey scoring under the posts in the 30th minute.
At half time, the Sharks held a handy 14-0 lead.
The Storm came out firing early in the second half with a try to Dennis Scott out wide. Minutes later the Sharks replied with a classy try to Michael Sullivan who swooped onto a kick from centre Nigel Vagana.
The Storm?s best play of the match came in the 57th minute when back rower Peter Robinson, with a full head of steam, ran onto a pass from Matt Orford to score near the posts. With 20 minutes to go however, the Sharks held a 20-10 lead and were still in control.
A well deserved try to second rower Phil Bailey in the 72nd minute saw the Sharks go further ahead. Then with the match result beyond doubt, Nigel Vagana scored a questionable try just before fulltime, the Sharks posting a 20 point victory.
Next weekend the Sharks are on the road again, travelling to Perth to take on the New Zealand Warriors. The Storm will have the bye.
Scorers: STORM 10 Tries: Scott, Robinson Goals: Smith 0/1, Orford 1/1 SHARKS 30 Tries: Gallen, Peachey, Sullivan, Bailey, Vagana Goals: Covell 5/7
Live commentary: 0 min: Sharks scheduled to kick off soon. Both sides will be fielding unchanged line-ups. Should be a cracker of match and looking forward to the battle of the halves between Brett Kimmorley and the Storm's Matt Orford.
Referee Sean Hampstead blows time on and kick off!
5 min: TRY - Sharks. Paul Gallen scores in good position. Follows sustained pressure early on with the Sharks getting back-to-back sets. Set up by Kimmorley who made the break before putting the lock forward Gallen into space from close range. Conversion Luke Covell is successful. Sharks 6-0
10 min: Still 6-0 to the Sharks in a match being played at a fast pace. Sharks enjoying plenty of possession and field position. The Storm only really having one shot the opposition's line thus far while the Sharks have had several opportunities.
15 min: NO TRY - Sharks denied. Jason Stevens running onto a great pass from Kimmorley. But play is pulled back to the previous pass, the video ref ruling the tiniest of knock-ons from dummy-half. The Storm let off the hook.
20 min: The Storm throw everything at the Sharks but are thwarted by some great try-saving tackles. Still 6-0 to the Sharks.
26 min: PENALTY GOAL - Sharks. No mistake from Covell right in front. Storm found to be off-side. Follows a sensational 60 metre run up the park from Sharks' prop Hutch Maiava. Sharks 8-0
30 min: TRY - Sharks. David Peachey scores under the posts following a simple offload from Hutch Maiava. Conversion Covell. Sharks 14-0
36 min: NEWS - Sharks earn a scrum feed 15 metres out following a 40/20 from Kimmorley.
38 min: NEWS - Sharks' winger David Simmons is stretchered from the field with a neck injury after being hit awkwardly. A neck brace has been attached.
HALF TIME: Sharks 14-0
Its been all the Sharks in the first half with the visitor's dominating play just wide of the ruck. Kimmorley is calling the shots with Phil Bailey and Danny Nutley leading the pack. Front rower Hutch Maiava [pictured] is having a tremendous game off the bench. The Storm have all the work to do and could easily have been 20 points down at half time. Still a way to go but at this stage, it seems that only complacency will see the Sharks lose this one.
Second half underway...
43 min: TRY - Storm. Dennis Scott scores out wide, picking the loose ball following a high kick. Follows a couple of errors from the Sharks. After an eternity of video ref scrutiny, it turns into a ref's call and Scott gets the nod. Conversion Cameron Smith unsuccessful. Sharks 14-4
NEWS - Sharks' winger David Simmons is apparently OK after being stretchered off late in the first half. The word is that he has had a head knock and will take no further part in the match.
47 min: TRY - Sharks. Michael Sullivan picks the ball to score following a kick ahead from Nigel Vagana. Covell's conversion 15 metres wide of goal is OK. Sharks 20-4
57 min: TRY - Storm. Back rower Peter Robinson crashes through from close range after running at full pace onto a pass from Matt Orford. Follows a penalty against the Sharks for holding onto tackled player. Orford's conversion from almost in front is successful. Sharks 20-10
72 min: TRY- Sharks. Phil Bailey scores in the corner and that's the ball game. Follows some end-to-end stuff from both sides. The Sharks still having the run of play despite a better showing from the locals. Conversion from Covell hits the uprights and is waved away. Sharks 24-10
74 min: NEWS - Storm attempt a short kick off and fail top make the 10 metres. Penalty to Sharks and Covell is attempts a shot at goal from half way. It has the length but not the direction. Still the Sharks in front 24-10.
78 min: NEWS - Alex Chan (Storm) may be in a spot of bother with the judiciary after a high shot.
79 min: TRY - Sharks. Vagana gets the nod from the video ref after he is deemed to have touched down just inside the dead ball line. An extraordinary decision because it looks like a knock-on. Conversion Covell. Sharks 30-10
FULL TIME: Sharks 30-10 A well deserved victory to the Sharks who never looked like losing.
Plenty of go forward from the men up front who dominated their opposites all night. Kimmorley's kicking game being a feature of the match.
For the Storm, its back to the drawing board. After a good start to the season, they have now had two losses in a row at home and three losses out of their last four outings.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - B Kimmorley (Sharks) 2 - P Bailey (Sharks) 1 - H Maiava (Sharks) -----------------------------------------