Full Time
7:50pm Thu May 30, 2024
Round 13 - CommBank Stadium, Parramatta / Burramattagal - Crowd: 11665

Match Overview

The returns of Mitchell Moses and Clint Gutherson have inspired the Eels to a 34-22 win over the Sharks. The Eels hopes of a late season charge to the finals have gotten off to the best start possible with tonight's victory.

Cronulla picked up a penalty, a set restart and forced an error early before Sione Katoa opened the scoring. The Eels struck back quickly however when Will Penisini scored a spectacular solo try, and then quickly jumped out to a 12 point lead with a Maika Sivo double.

But as their momentum began to look irresistible, the Sharks resisted and Ronaldo Mulitalo took off on a kick return, breaking Mitchell Moses' ankles and selling Clint Gutherson some candy before linking up with Will Kennedy for the try. Moses missed a field goal right on half time, and the score remained 16-10 at the break.

The Sharks dominated the ball early in the second half but failed to score, and when Parra got a chance they took advantage when Junior Paulo carried five Sharks defenders across the line. Moses quickly followed up with a penalty goal, before setting up a brilliant short side raid to send Bailey Simonsson over and extend the lead to 28-10.

But the Sharks refused to die wondering, and picked up two tries in seven minutes through Daniel Atkinson and Katoa respectively. But just as momentum was building, a mistake by the Sharks put the Eels back on the front foot, and Dylan Brown stepped through the defences to ice the game and a crucial two points for the Blue and Golds.

This felt like a must win for the Eels, and getting a 4th win halfway through their season is the bare minimum they needed if they want to make the finals this season. It's going to be a long road, but the returns of Moses and Clint Gutherson go a long way towards that goal.

For the Sharks it's time to press the panic button. Back to back losses and conceding 106 points in just three weeks. This team is being exposed at a ridiculous rate and Craig Fitzgibbon needs to rectify it if the Sharks want to remain a premiership contender.

3. Mitchell Moses

Didn’t miss a beat on his return from a broken foot, having a hand in everything the Eels did throughout the match.

2. Dylan Brown

A return to normalcy next to Moses has brought the best out of Brown, pushing the Sharks everytime he caught the ball.

1. Clinton Gutherson

Did all the little things. But couldn’t have missed what he brought to the team on his return from injury.