The Sharks strong form continues as they notched their fifth straight win in a tough clash with the Bulldogs, finishing 22-16 victors at Southern Cross Group Stadium.
The Bulldogs capitalised on a sloppy error by Josh Dugan, who dropped a downtown kick cold. From the scrum the Dogs marched downfield before finally Josh Morris gets one-on-one with Ramien, steps out of the tackle and falls over the line for the opening try. Mbye failed to convert from touch.
From the restart Aaron Woods dropped a pass cold. The Bulldogs then gave away back-to-back penalties before Dugan got a sweet pass to Lee who reached out to score in the corner. Townsend converted from touch.
Again, once play resumed the Bulldogs gave away another penalty and received a caution. Cronulla marched into their opponents half and on the third tackle, Moylan put in a beautiful kick that hit Holmes perfectly, who scored an easy try, untouched. Townsend was unable to convert from the sideline.
Momentum slightly started to swing back in favour of the Bulldogs after the first half of the opening 40 minutes and after several repeat sets, the finally cracked the home sides defence when Brett Morris dived over in the corner. Mbye again failed to convert.
Right on halftime Mbye kicked a penalty goal to level the scores at the break.
The Sharks got off to a good start in the second half, capped by a top solo try to Ramien, who stepped inside some lazy Bulldogs middle defence and stormed over for a try beside the posts. Townsend knocked over the extras.
An attempted intercept by Moylan was dropped and from the scrum the Dogs camped on the Sharks line. Then a stunning halfbacks play by Klemmer, picked out Holland with a magnificent pass. Holland linked with Brett Morris who dived over to score his second. Mbye was again unsuccessful from touch with the conversion attempt.
The Bulldogs started to get sloppy after an hour and the Sharks start to string together repeat sets. Prior took what looked like a trademark hit up into the Bulldogs line defence, but somehow managed to get his arm free, reached out and planted the ball on the line for a try that surprised even his own team mates. Townsend's conversion from almost in front gave his side an 8 point lead.
The Bulldogs tried hard and earnt several repeat sets but could not find a way through the spirited Sharks defence.
Dugan was marched to the bin in the 79th minute and Mbye kicked a penalty goal to reduce the deficit to 6, but he then knocked on in the next set, and the game was over. Canterbury will be keen to bounce back against the Wests Tigers next week, while the Sharks are away to Newcastle next Sunday.