The Cronulla Sharks have put in a mixed display to get the two points over their local rivalries following their 24-18 victory over the St George Illawarra Dragons
A fast start for the Sharks put them in front when Nicho Hynes put on the footwork to find a gap in the Dragons defence and get down low to score after just four minutes. A second chance for the Sharks was blown when Nicho Hynes had the same situation but with defenders on him he threw a pass that found a Dragons player.
The Dragons had only one play in the Sharks 20 when they scored their opening try when Jack De Belin was on the spot after Ronaldo Mulitalo knocked a Ben Hunt bomb on and De Belin was on the spot to score near the posts. Zac Lomax converted to level the scores.
One of the biggest talking points of the game came soon after when nearly all NRL fans were left puzzled by Tariq Sims only being sin binned for a tackle that looked to be about as clear a send-off as you could get. The tackle saw Sims hit Connor Tracey high and had knocked the Sharks centre out before he had hit it the ground.
The Sharks couldn't take advantage of the extra man as Braydon Trindall scored after putting on some magic with a dummy and footwork to go through and score. Trindall had his fingerprints on the next try as well ten minutes later when the Sharks backup half ran to the line and this time had the Dragons in two minds on whether he was going to dummy or pass and this time Trindall found Teig Wilton to score.
A sin bin for Blayke Brailey gave the Dragons an extra man which they took advantage of in the second half with Tautau Moga scored after some ill-discipline from the Sharks as the Red ‘V' shifted the ball right and Moga had open space to the outside.
The Dragons scored a second try to close the gap to just two points after the Cronulla defence rushed up in defence and Mat Feagai scored in the corner as the Dragons took advantage of the mismatch in defence.
Cronulla's fourth try came with some luck as Tyrell Sloan lost a Nicho Hynes bomb and the ball came off Briton Nikora's head and with the Sharks second rower getting to the ball first before finding Blayke Brailey who found Wade Graham who scored his first try since 2020.
Pushing the lead out to 8, the Dragons elected to close the gap to 6 when they got a penalty for the Sharks being offside inside the final two and a half minutes. The Dragons then showed their most expansive play but it wasn't to be as the Sharks held on.
Next weekend, the Sharks head to Tamworth for a clash with the Tigers on Saturday afternoon whilst the Dragons head to the nation's capital as the potentially otherwise focussed Raiders host the Red ‘V'.