Full Time
3:00pm Sat August 7, 2021
Round 21 - Cbus Super Stadium

Match Overview

Despite a shocking afternoon from Kane Evans, the Warriors managed to group together to come away with a vital two points in an 18-16 win over Cronulla at Cbus Super Stadium.

A sunny afternoon on the Gold Coast was enough the rev the Warriors up early in the first half as they picked up where they left off last week as they dominated the opening 20 minutes of the first half which included an early try to winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak in the third minute. 

Like the Tigers did last week, the Warriors struggled to convert their dominance into points. The Sharks slowly fought their way back into the game and Connor Tracey's try in the 27th minute gave Cronulla some much needed confidence. It was brilliant work from Will Kennedy as he set up Tracey's and he'd be involved later in the half. 

It was set to be tight at half-time until Warriors middle forward Kane Evans found himself in trouble for a strike on Will Chambers after he lost the ball in a tackle which involved Chambers tackling him. As a result, the referee sent Evans to the bin, leaving the Warriors with 12 men for the final five minutes of the half. 

The Warriors were in all sorts after this incident and the Sharks took the most of their opportunity. Firstly, it was Nikora who gave the Sharks the lead after he barged his way over Reece Walsh from close to the line. Just when you thought that'd be it for points in the opening term, the Sharks struck early in the next set from long range as Will Kennedy attacked the left edge as he did earlier in the game and managed to break through the line and score a try for himself as the Sharks turned the game on its head. 

The Warriors needed a big second half after their poor finish to the first term and that's how it started in the second half. The team from New Zealand slowly got their way back into the game trading sets with the Sharks until the 56th minute when Reece Walsh scored his only try of the afternoon. His conversion brought the game to within four points. The pressure was starting to mount of the Sharks, and they started to buckle under pressure and when the Warriors got another chance, they took it straight away.

All they had to do was get the ball out wide to Euan Aitken who then made the Shark's defence look like and under-12's team as he broke several tackles on his way to levelling the game for the Warriors. Luckily, for the Sharks, Walsh's kick hit the uprights leaving the scores level. 

Just when the Warriors started to take charge of the game, Kane Evans, not for the first time this game, found himself in the sin bin for a dangerous lifting tackle on a Sharks player. Nathan Brown would've been furious as the Sharks scored two tries earlier in the game when the Warriors were down to 10 men. 

Luckily for Evans, The Sharks weren't to score whilst he was off and in fact the Warriors were given a penalty in front of their goals and Reece Walsh made no mistakes as he gave his side the lead and subsequently the win. 

The Sharks missed a chance here to keep themselves and the eight and as a result they now sit a win outside the top eight with the Gold Coast Titans still to play. For the Warriors it brings them within two wins of the eight, but they'll need some results to go their way if they're to creep their way into the eight before the finals start. 

3. Addin Fonua-Blake

Fonua-Blake was immense for the Warriors today. The front rower finished with 227 run metres from just 18 carries with 95 of those metres coming after contact. Made a line break and finished with 18 tackles

2. Josh Curran

The back rower had an outstanding afternoon which saw him set up a try and assist two line breaks. Curran also finished with 159 run metres which included five tackles breaks. The Warrior also made 41 tackles

1. Will Kennedy

Was electric for the Sharks and was involved in the majority of their tries. The fullback walked away with a try and a try assist as he accumulated 226 run metres. Kennedy finished with two line breaks and 7 tackle breaks