Full Time
6:15pm Sun March 31, 2024
Round 4 - PointsBet Stadium, Woolooware / Dharawal - Crowd: 12692

Match Overview

Cronulla have shown their bite after coming back from 18-0 down to defeat the Canberra Raiders 36-22 in an entertaining Easter Sunday at Shark Park.

After a lethargic start in attack from both sides. Xavier Savage burst through the Sharks depleted middle third to give Canberra some tempo with ball in hand. The Green Machine shifted quickly on the last, exposing the new look Sharks left edge as James Schiller had enough pace to beat Will Kennedy to cross for the opening try after 13 minutes.

Cronulla continued to have lazy mistakes and were made to pay for a lack of focus in the attacking third. From a scrum win down the other end of the field four minutes later, Savage beat three would be attempts of tackle crossed for a try of his own. Jamal Fogarty added his second conversion for a quick 12-0 lead after the opening quarter of the match. Things looked to turn around for the Sharks with Brayden Trindall's kick forcing a result, but their attack appeared to be left on autopilot with how slow and lethargic they looked in Canberra's attacking third. Fogarty got a 40/20 and they added further salt in the wound when Danny Levi crashed over for the softest try of 2024 and an 18-0 lead after 25 minutes.

After 28 minutes, the Sharks finally showed some bite and woke up to get on the board. Braydon Trindall dummied his way past some would-be attempts of tackle from Fogarty and Zac Hosking to cross for the first try of the night for the home side. Nicho Hynes' conversion reduced the gap to twelve. The mistakes that were contagious at Cronulla's end also came to bite Canberra. After Jesse Ramien blew a try the play before, the Sharks came left, and it was the new look left edge combining with Hynes and Kayal Iro to send Ronaldo Mulitalo to score their second of the night.

The scoring wasn't finished for the Sharks when off the next set, Blayke Brailey tactically kicked for the corner. Sione Katoa beat a way too-calm Savage to the footy and passed inside. Referee Todd Smith got in Kennedy's way but fortunately, Brailey was there to pick it up and cross. Hynes levelled the scores at 18-18 at the break. The second half continued the tradition of set-for-set footy, with lots of errors thrown in for good fun as both sides traded the footy like it was an Easter Egg Hunt. Following another Savage error, the Sharks crossed first in the second half. Trindall drew in the defence on the left edge and it's a flying Kayal Iro who crossed for his first NRL try. Hynes converted for their first lead of the night.

Following Fogarty's mistake of getting tackled with the ball on the last. The Sharks went down the blind as Hynes and Kennedy combined nicely. Kennedy's grubber was perfectly waited and Mulitalo collected the bounce for his second try of the contest and the fifth on the bounce for the home team. Hynes' conversion from touch meant Canberra's mountain was steeper to climb. Canberra ended the Shark raid in the 72nd minute with a lovely worked play down the right when Jordan Rapana caught Mulitalo out of position. He delivered a lovely pass to Schiller for his second try of the evening but Fogarty's conversion doinked off the upright and the margin was eight. Cronulla finished in style when Hynes delivered a magic pass to Katoa to cross in the final minute of play to make it 36-22.

3. Ronaldo Mulitalo

Mulitalo was absolutely huge for the Sharks in their victory. Running for over 100m and 2 line-breaks on-top of the two tries. Ronnie was superb in this effort for the Sharks.

2. Jack Williams

Down 18-0, the Sharks really needed some impact. They got it from Jack Williams tonight. Running for over 170m and making 26 tackles, Williams delivered big time for the home side.

1. Kayal Iro

Between Iro, Fogarty and Hynes, it was super tight to pick the one vote but I've decided to go for Iro as he did just a little bit more tonight. He worked hard out of yardage and despite some concerns over his defence, he didn't miss a SINGLE TACKLE tonight.