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THE Cronulla Sutherland Sharks have won six matches in a row for the first time since 2002 after defeating the Canberra Raiders 44-22 in front of 12,227 at Canberra Stadium
Captain Paul Gallen and five-eighth Todd Carney were stand outs for the Sharks this afternoon as they sliced through the Canberra defence.
An early penalty to the Sharks, followed by a Gallen grubber to force another set of six enabled the visitors to mount pressure early. The Sharks made the most of their early opportunities with Carney putting up a pin-point chip bomb in the fifth minute to set Ben Pomeroy up for the opening try.
The home-side hit back four minutes later through their five-eighth Josh McCrone who scored on the back of a Sam Williams kick.
The kicking game of Carney continued to create opportunities for his side, and ensured the Sharks dominated possession.
Tries to John Williams in the 15th minute and Jason Bukuya in the 23rd saw the Sharks race away to 10 point lead before McCrone sliced through the Sharks' defence in the 29th minute for his second.
After dominating possession for much of the half, the Sharks deserved more than a four-point lead heading into the break and their stars Gallen and Carney ensured they would have more to show for their efforts as they created tries for John Morris in the 33rd minute and Stewart Mills in the 39th minute.
Six-repeat sets early in the second half was not enough for the Sharks, as they failed to add to their total in the first 10 minutes of the second 40.
The visitors finally capitalised on their possession in the 51st minute with Jeff Robson producing a try for himself. The Sharks made up for lost time, with Williams claiming his double only three minutes later courtesy of some great vision from Carney.
Despite being behind by 22-points the Raiders refused to let their limited possession go to waste, with Josh Dugan scoring in the 59th minute. The home side barely had enough time to celebrate before a kick-out-on-the-full from Williams gifted possession to the Sharks only 40 out from the try line.
Gallen once again showed of his flair with some great service from dummy half to create a try for Colin Best in the 63rd minute.
A late consolation try to the Raiders on full-time enabled them to add a little respectability to the score line, but it could not take away from what was a dominant performance to the Sharks who were absolutely brutal in attack and defence and will be a difficult team to beat.
Canberra Raiders 22 were defeated by Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 44
National Rugby League - Round 8 - Sunday April 29, 2012 2:00pm
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Referee: Jason Robinson and Tony De Las Heras
Video Referee: Sean Hampstead
Touch Judges: Steve Carrall and Dave Ryan
Halftime: Canberra Raiders 12 Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 28
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Paul Gallen
2 Points - Todd Carney (5 Conversions, 1 Penalty Goal)
1 Point - Colin Best (1 Try)
CANBERRA RAIDERS (22)
Tries: Reece Robinson, Josh Dugan, Josh McCrone (2)
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (3/4)
CRONULLA SUTHERLAND SHARKS (44)
Tries: John Morris, Ben Pomeroy, Colin Best, John Williams (2), Jeff Robson, Jason Bukuya, Stewart Mills
Conversions: Todd Carney (5/8)
Penalty Goals: Todd Carney (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good Afternoon folks and welcome to Canberra Stadium where the Cronulla Sharks take on the Canberra Raiders.
The homeside have announced a few late changes to their side, Josh Dugan makes his return, with Jack Whighton out of the side. Bronson Harrison has also been ruled out with and ankle injury, Joe Picker comes into the side to replace him.
The Sharks are as per program.
1 min: Carney kicks off to bring the match underway.
2 min: Sharks receive a penalty 15 out from their own goal line.
3 min: Paul Gallen grubbers into the in goal on the last and Blake Ferguson is forced to take it dead.
4 min: Possible try to Ben Pomeroy for the Sharks.
6 min: TRY
TRY! Carney puts up a pin point chips kick from 10 meters out and Pomeroy leaps above the pack to claim the ball and score in the right corner. Carney converts.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 6-0
11 min: TRY
TRY! Sam Williams goes to the air from 20 out John Williams spills the ball in in-goal, Josh McCrone dives on the loose ball to score. Jarrod Crocker converts the try.
Canberra Raiders 6-4
13 min: The Sharks will get a line drop out after Carney drills the ball down field from 40 out and Josh Dugan is trapped in goal.
15 min: Possible try to John Williams for the Sharks.
16 min: TRY
TRY! The Sharks spread the ball out wide through Collin Bes who passes to John Williams who scores in the corner. Carney fails to convert from the side line.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 10-6
17 min: Issac De Gois kicks the ball down field from 30 out and Dugan is trapped in goal.
18 min: Jason Bukuya loses the ball on the first tackle and the Raiders are off the hook.
22 min: Blake Ferguson knocks on 40 out from his own try line and the Sharks will get a scrum.
23 min: Possible try to the Sharks!
24 min: TRY
TRY! Bukuya scores for the Sharks after a perfect grubber from Geoff Robson. Conversion attempt by Carney is successful.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 16-6
28 min: The Raiders receive a penalty five short of the halfway line.
30 min: TRY
TRY! McCrone goes himself from 10 out and he just slices throuogh the Sharks' goal line defence for a try. Crocker adds the extras.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 16-12
31 min: The Sharks will get a scrum 30 out from their own line agter Sam Williams throws a forward pass.
34 min: TRY
TRY! Paul Gallen throws a brilliant inside pass to Jeremy Smith 40 out from the Raiders line, Smith passes to John Morris 12 out from the try line and Morris scores. Carney adds the extras.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 22-12
39 min: TRY
TRY! A pin point accurate bomb and Stewart Mills is there to snatch the ball out of the air and score in the right corner. Carney converts from the side line.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 28-12
40 min: There won't be any time for play to restart and that's the half.
44 min: Sharks will get a line drop out.
45 min: The Sharks will get a scrum 10 out from the Raiders' try line after Crocker knocks the ball on trying to diffuse a Carney kick.
47 min: Carney forces another line dropout.
48 min: Another line drop out for the Sharks, this time it was Robson grubber that was forced dead by the Raiders. That's the sixth repeat set for the Sharks.
48 min: Possible try to the Sharks.
48 min: No try! Williams lost the ball over the line after picking up Carney grubber.
49 min: Bukuya intercept on half way.
50 min: Sharks get a penalty 35 out.
52 min: TRY
TRY! Robson steps off his left foot and slices through the Raiders' goal line defence to score under the posts. Carney adds the extras.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 34-12
53 min: The Raiders are pinned for a strip and the Sharks will get a piggyback up the field.
55 min: TRY
TRY! Carney drifts the ball across field and Best makes a break down the west touchline, he passes to Williams who claims his second. Carney fails to convert from the side line.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 38-12
56 min: Sharks will get six-again 30 out from the Raiders' line.
57 min: Possible try to Andrew Fifita for the Sharks.
57 min: NO TRY! Penalty against the Sharks with Carney ruled to have impeded a potential tackler.
59 min: TRY
TRY! Dugan scores for the Raiders on the back of a grubber from Williams. Crocker adds the extras.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 38-18
61 min: Sam Williams kicks it out on the full 40 out from his own line.
63 min: TRY
TRY! Great service from dummy half from Gallen to create a try for Best. Carney misses an easy shot at goal.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 42-18
67 min: Sharks are on the attack again after a 50 metre kick return from Williams.
68 min: Carney forces another line drop out.
69 min: Sharks are pinned for a knock on, on the last and the Raiders will get a scrum 10 out from their own line.
71 min: The Sharks will receive a penalty 30 out from the Raiders' line.
72 min: PENALTY GOAL
The Sharks opt to go for the two on the back of the penalty and Carney kicks the goal.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 44-18
74 min: The Raiders get a penalty 10 out from the Sharks' line.
75 min: Matthew Wright is trapped in goal and the Raiders will get a line drop out.
77 min: Ferguson is bundled into touch on the fourth tackle.
80 min: Possible try to the Raiders here.
80 min: TRY
Jarrod Crocker boots the ball down field from 30 out and Reece Robinson boots forward before the Sharks defence can get it. Robinson scores. Crocker misses the conversion.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 44-22
80 min: The Sharks have won six games in a row for the first time since 2002.