Full Time
5:40pm Sat October 3, 2020
Finals Week 1 - GIO Stadium Canberra - Crowd: 9602

Match Overview

Cronulla opened the scoring in the 6th minute when Chad Townsend kicked a penalty goal. 

Canberra responded with a try in the 10th minute when Joseph Tapine refused to be tackled in the middle, was initially met by 3 defenders and then a fourth joined, but he somehow slipped out and evaded 2 more cover defenders to reach out and score under the posts. Croker converted from in front.

After the Sharks dominated field position and possession, they finally converted it into points in the 19th minute when Connor Tracey received the ball on the left side, drifted further left, dummied and then threw a nice ball to Ronaldo Mulitalo who dived to score in the corner. Townsend's sideline conversion missed.

Back-to-back penalties for the Sharks resulted in Chad Townsend kicking his second penalty goal, in the 22nd minute.

The Sharks scored again in the 27th minute. The Raiders were running off their own line when Elliott Whitehead spilled a pass forward into Brailey who caught it, dummied and then scored while twisting in the tackle, getting the ball down under the posts, injuring his ankle in the process. Townsend converted.

Brailey stayed on for another 3 minutes but was not getting better and eventually came off.

Three minutes from halftime and the Sharks were on the attack down the left side when a Wade Graham short ball to Braden Hamlin-Uele was intercepted by George Williams who then ran 65 metres to score in the right corner. Croker failed to convert from out wide.
Cronulla lead 14-10 at halftime.

7 minutes into the second half, Jack Wighton took a quick tap and strolled through the Sharks middle defence, catching them napping to score under the posts. Croker converted from in front. It was somewhat controversial as Wade Graham was requesting to challenge the decision that allowed Wighton to take the tap.

The Sharks were found to be offside from the restart and from the ensuing set George Williams chipped to the left and Wighton looked like he was shot out of a cannon as he outleapt everyone, juggled the ball and eventually planting it down for a try. Croker converted from almost in front.

In the 56th minute Hudson Young made a break before the defence pulled him down deep inside the Sharks half. On the next play, Wighton received the ball and ran back towards the posts before dishing a short ball to George Williams who barged over under the posts to score. Croker added the extras.

In the 65th minute the Raiders put the game to bed when Croker who grubbered into the Sharks in-goal before Whitehead cleaned up to score in the corner. Croker failed to convert from out wide.

Cronulla got themselves a consolation try in the final 90 seconds when Sione Katoa took a neat intercept and ran 90 metres to score in the right corner. Townsend converted from touch.

Canberra running out 32-20 victors.

3. Jack Wighton

Wighton snared 2 tries in 3 minutes to give the Raiders the lead which they never lost. Set up a good try for his halfback and was an absolute menace for the Sharks defence.

2. George Williams

Williams' intercept try just before halftime was the turning point in the game. His passing, running and kicking games were all spot on in the second half.

1. Chad Townsend

The Sharks half had a superb kicking game and very nearly scored the opening try thanks to a cheeky grubber and chase. The most creative and threatening Sharks attacker and the best player on the field at halftime.