Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
New Zealand Warriors 12 v Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 10
at Mt Smart (Ericsson) Stadium
Referee: Jason Robinson
The New Zealand Warriors have defeated the Cronulla Sharks 12-10 at Mt Smart Stadium this evening.
In what was a very dour struggle, both sides scored two tries each but the Warriors got home on the boot of centre Tony Martin, who kicked a crucial penalty goal that proved to be the difference between the two sides in the end.
Warriors forward Michael Luck scored the decisive try in the 68th minute and that gave the Warriors a two point lead and it was enough to see them hold on for grim death and collect the two points.
With everything to play for, the Sharks now find themselves very much on the outer and in real danger of missing the finals after looking like certainties for the top four two months ago.
Should the Raiders, Panthers and Cowboys all win, the Sharks can pretty much kiss godbye any chance they had of making the finals. The Sharks will be praying to every god they know so they can live to fight another day.
For the Warriors, they have played spoiler to perfection in registering their ninth win of the year and they will probably take a few more scalps before the year is out. Had they won a few more close games, they too would be very much in the hunt and with one of the better points differentials, they would have been up to the task of finals football.
New Zealand Warriors: 12
Tries: Michael Luck, Grant Rovelli
Goals: Tony Martin 2/3
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 10
Tries: Luke Covell, Brett Kimmorley
Goals: Luke Covell 1/2
By the Clock:
1 min: NEWS We are underway at Mt Smart Stadium.
8 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors
The Warriors draw first blood against the Sharks through Grant Rovelli. Conversion successful.
16 min: NEWS Warriors well on top at the moment. They are dominating possession and the Sharks are struggling.
19 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland Sharks
The Sharks hit back and level the scores through Brett Kimmorley. Conversion successful.
30 min: NEWS Very even contest at the moment with ten to go until half time. The Sharks have come alive in the past ten minutes are playping much better than the opening twenty.
40 min: NEWS Very tight first half with the Warriors on top early but the Sharks fought back to level the scores at the half. If the Warriors can win this game, it will almost vertainly end the Sharks season.
41 min: NEWS We are underway at Mt Smart Stadium for the second half.
50 min: NEWS Ten minutes gone in the second half and htis dour struggle is still yet to yield any more points. With so much to play for, the stakes are high for the Sharks.
50 min: PENALTY GOAL New Zealand Warriors
The Warriors edge ahead through a penalty goal to Tony Martin.
58 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland Sharks
The Sharks score to take the lead. Luke Covell was the scorer and with just over twenty minutes remaining in a close match, this try may prove to be the winner for the Sharks. Conversion unsuccessful.
65 min: NEWS Fifteen minutes remaining and the Sharks still cling to their two point lead.
68 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors
The Warriors have scored to edge ahead with just over ten minutes remaining in the match. Michaek Luck was the scorer. Can the Sharks hit back? Conversion unsuccessful.
75 min: NEWS The Warriors are hanging on for the moment but have been on the end of some questionable decisions by referee Jason Robinson.
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Steve Price
2 - Grant Rovelli
1 - Paul Gallen