Full Time
6:00pm Fri March 15, 2024
Round 2 - PointsBet Stadium, Woolooware / Dharawal - Crowd: 12928

Match Overview

The Bulldogs started fast, but weren't able to keep pace with a fast finishing Sharks outfit who won 25-6 at Pointsbet Stadium on Friday night.

It didn't take long for drama to unfold in the first game of Friday Night Football for Round 2. In his first carry of the game, Poasa Faamausili went down after a huge tackle from Connor Tracey. He was taken from the field for a mandatory head injury assessment and Josh Curran entered the game much earlier than expected. It didn't take long for the match officials to deem Faamausili unfit to return with a Category 1 HIA result.

We didn't have to wait long for more drama to unfold, with Briton Nikora being sent to the bin in the 5th minute after play was stopped by the video referee. An incident that wasn't picked up by the on-field ref was called out following the next play and Nikora was placed on report and binned for a high shot on Villiame Kikau. Alongside this, we had a few instances of 'shenanigans' that the ref warned needed to stop or more players would be sitting out for 10.

In an unusual decision, Kikau was denied the first try of the evening because the referee impeded the Sharks defence... there are still a few people scratching their head over that one, questioning how the referee being in the way resulted in the try being overturned. 

The first points of the evening were earned by young winger, Blake Wilson after spreading the ball out to create and overlap. Wilson still needs to do some work to get over the line with a number of Sharks defenders in his way. Matt Burton pushed the Bulldogs lead out to 6 by slotting the conversion from the sideline. 

The next ten minutes saw some end to end footy where both sides had opportunities that they couldn't capitalise on before the Sharks scored. A great passage of play from the Cronulla side saw Nicho Hynes put his second rower in Teig Wilton through a hole... who then connected with Braydon Trindall to send him over for their first points of the night! A successful conversion from Hynes saw the scores locked at 6 a piece and it remained that way until half-time. 

Going in to the break both sides were pretty evenly matched. Possession swung slightly in the Sharks favour in the last few minutes of the half, while both teams were completing well above 80%.

The second half started pretty slowly, with both sides once again having opportunities to get themselves down field, but errors were holding them back before a late offload from Jesse Ramien saw Sione Katoa go over for the Sharks to put them in front for the first time tonight. Hynes added the 2 to make it a 12 - 6 scoreline. At this stage, it looked like the Bulldogs were tiring much faster than the Sharks. Both sides had started fast, but it was going to come down to who could finish strong as well.

It didn't take long for the Sharks to score again, with Teig Wilton threw a crazy pass two Siosifa Talakai before he grubbered the Ronaldo Mulitalo. He was unable to pick the ball up, but got his toe to it, getting it into the in-goal area and planting it for another Shark's 4 pointer. Hynes converted from beside the sticks and the score was now 18 - 6. Five minutes later, Wilton crossed for his own 4-pointer after a beautiful left-side play, before Hynes kicked the conversion with the help of the goal posts.

Nicho Hynes then put the final nail in the coffin by kicking a field goal to win the game 25-6.

3. Teig Wilton

Teig Wilton was in everything tonight. After missing a large chunk of the 2023 season due to injury, this young second-rower is making up for lost time! Tonight he had 7 tackle breaks, a line break, a try assist and scored his own try. When his halves needed him, he was there to hit a hole and help put his side on the front foot.

2. Ronaldo Mulitalo

Ronaldo just Ronaldo'ed tonight. He ran over 200 m, broke 7 tackles, made 2 impressive line breaks, had a try assist and scored his own 4 pointer. Tonight's performance is what we have become used to seeing from Mulitalo and he didn't disappoint.

1. Thomas Hazelton

Although he didn't cross the line for his own try, Hazleton was integral to getting his team down the field. Coming off the bench, he made an immediate impact by bending the defensive line and earning important post contact metres. A pure workhorse in tonight's game who put 100% in.