Shark Alarm sounded as Cowboys surrender on Sydney road trip

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Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks v North Queensland Cowboys

A ruthless home display has seen the Cronulla Sharks sound the alarm that they are a force in season 2024 with a 42-6 rout over a disappointing North Queensland Cowboys side at PointsBet Stadium.

A high kick from Nicho Hynes was defused by Scott Drinkwater, but as he was getting dragged towards the sideline. He flipped the ball back in play, but it was intercepted by Will Kennedy who fooled the lone Cowboy in cover defence to score for his maiden try of 2024 after just 2 minutes of play. Hynes was able to curve the kick back in from touch for a 6-0 lead.

The game had a good flow and tempo throughout the first half, but territorially it was played down the Cowboys' defensive end. As a result, they had to do a lot of defence on their line and eventually, it took their toll. Tom Hazelton beat a handful of defenders to get his way to the line and give the Sharks a handy 12-0 lead after 22 minutes. A few minutes later, a Braydon Trindall kick was batted back by Jesse Ramien. Jack Williams was on the spot who got it onto debutant Sam Stonestreet who showed off to his friends and family in the Stonestreet Corner of Shark Park to cross for his maiden try in the NRL. Hynes again showcased his curve on the conversion for an 18-0 lead.

North Queensland weren't helping themselves either when they got rare glimpses of attacking footy. After Drinkwater's pass was intercepted in good ball territory, the Sharks again set up camp down in the Cowboys half. Blayke Brailey capitalised on a quick play the ball finding Trindall who put boot to ball and got a room-service bounce for a great individual try and it was 24-0 in the blink of an eye. The scores remained that way heading into the sheds at the end of the first half.

Despite North Queensland having the better start in possession. Their execution was leaving plenty to be desired. As a result, Cronulla like they did in the first half were able to march down field and score. A Hynes bomb was up in the air for Drinkwater to take. But under pressure from Briton Nikora, he spilled the ball and Trindall was jolly on the spot for his second try.

Following off another Cowboys mistake out of yardage. The Sharks shifted play to the left edge and Hynes delivered a wonderful pass to Ronaldo Mulitalo who was allowed to run untouched right round underneath the sticks. Just after the hour mark, the Cowboys crossed for their first try. After forcing a goal-line dropout, a well-worked set play saw Chad Townsend put the ball on the toe which landed behind the defensive line and Valentine Holmes was able to pounce and score for the visitors and reduce the gap to 30. North Queensland thought they scored a penalty try with Jeremiah Nanai who was crunched in a total and fair tackle by Mulitalo and the score remained at 36-6. From that missed opportunity, Mulitalo was able to capitalise for his third consecutive double of the year to push the margin to 36. 

Cronulla were brutal and deserving of the two points, while for the Cowboys it was a disaster of epic proportions tonight. A mission they will need to quickly forget and move onto their next assignment, which isn't an easy one against the Panthers at home. 

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 42 - North Queensland Cowboys 6

Venue: PointsBet Stadium, Woolooware / Dharawal
Crowd: 12485
Halftime Score: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 24 North Queensland Cowboys 0 Players of the Match:
3 points - William Kennedy
2 points - Nicho Hynes
1 points - Ronaldo Mulitalo

Tries: William Kennedy, Thomas Hazelton, Samuel Stonestreet, Braydon Trindall (2), Ronaldo Mulitalo (2)
Field Goals:
Two Point Field Goals:
Conversions: Nicho Hynes (7/7)
Penalty Goals:

Tries: Valentine Holmes
Field Goals:
Two Point Field Goals:
Conversions: Valentine Holmes (1/1)
Penalty Goals:

See how it happened in our Match Centre