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Without a host of their most experienced players, Cronulla have easily overcome a combined Central Coast team in their first trial for 2004. Star players David Peachey, Jason Stevens, Nigel Vagana and Phil Bailey all watched from the sidelines as their less experienced team mates routed their opponents with the final scoreline favouring the Sharks 60-12.
Matthew Rieck was the star for Cronulla, racing away for three of the team's eleven tries, clearly revelling in coach Stuart Raper's return to a deeper backline. New recruit Nathan Merritt, filling in for Peachey at fullback, also bagged a double.
Both Andrew Lomu and Michael Russo showed that they will press hard for starting positions this seeason, both looking dangerous every time they ran with the ball.
Lomu and Danny Nutley were both placed on report for a dangerous throw, although they will probably not be charged unless sufficient video footage of the incident can be found.
In the four twenty-minute quarters of football, Erina were the pick of the local teams, outscoring Cronulla 6-0 after one of their players latched onto a wayward Brett Kimmorley pass and ran away for the try.
COMBINED CENTRAL COAST 12