Sharks slip past ordinary Eels

Fulltime score: Round 3 Eels 10 v Sharks 18

Match summary: The Cronulla Sharks have beaten the Parramatta Eels 18-10 at Parramatta Stadium this evening.

In what can only be described as a mediocre game, neither side looked enthusiastic about winning but the Sharks did enough to beat the Eels and it wasn't that hard.

The Eels were disappointing right across the park with no player providing leadership or creativity, not to mention a plethora of stupid unforced errors that made the game extremely frustrating for the fans to watch.

The Eels faithful deserve answers and deserve better than what they have been served up over the past two weeks and when you consider the spending spree the Eels embarked on over the off-seaon, the results they have delivered so far demand a Royal Commission.

The Sharks weren't spectacular in their win but with the Eels playing with the self destruct button at will, the Sharks simply had to bide their time and capitalise on the many opportunities the Eels would provide. And they did.

Although it is far too early to predict how either side will go, based on tonight's performance, both sides will need to improve one thousand percent if they are to get anywhere near the top eight.

The pressure is beginning to mount on Brian Smith and rightfully so. The Eels have been a franchise in decline since 2001 and nothing I have seen so far this year proves they are in the process of arresting their current form slump which has now entered it's fourth year and shows no signs of abating.

Score details: EELS 10 Tries: Morrison, Wagon Goals: Burt 1/3 defeated by SHARKS 18 Tries: Peachey, Mellor, Covell Goals: Covell 3/3

Referee: Sean Hampstead Half time: Sharks 12-6

By the clock: 1st min: Kickoff! We are underway at Parramatta Stadium for this round three clash between the Eels and the Sharks.

NEWS: Ian Henderson from the Eels has been injured from the kickoff after the Sharks kicked high and short with David Simmons racing through to collect the ball but he collected Ian Henderson in the process.

8th min: TRY - Eels. Tim smith throws a long cut out ball to the right wing where he finds Glenn Morrison looming and he crashes through the Sharks defence to give the Eels first points in the match. Conversion unsuccessful. Eels 4-0.

18th min: PENALTY GOAL - Eels. Luke Burt extends the Eels lead as the Sharks resort to some undisciplined play midway through the first half. Eels 6-0.

30th min: No change to the score with neither side looking overly impressive. A lot of mistakes and penalties are creatin a dour contest.

33rd min: TRY - Sharks. David Peachey scores off a Brett Kimmorley cross field kick with no one from the Eels challenging the kick. Conversion successful. 6 all.

38th min: TRY - Sharks. Paul Mellor scores out wide as the Eels continue to self destruct and show very few signs of enthusiasm. Brian Smith must be shifting nervously in his seat right about now. Conversion successful. Sharks 12-6.

HALF TIME: Very disappointing half of football from the Eels. They are lacking intensity and enthusiasm and unless they come out ready to play football in the second half, they could be facing another embarrassing scoreline.

41st min: The second half is underway so let's see if the Eels have decided to give it a go in the second half or will Cronulla run away with the game and cause the long suffering Eels fans more heartache?

50th min: TRY - Eels. John Morris employs the cross field kick to perfection with Eric Grothe jumping high and passing the ball back to Daniel Wagon who planted the ball to get the Eels back in the contest. Conversion unsuccessful. Sharks 12-10.

59th min: TRY - Sharks. Luke Covell scores out wide as Parramatta show little resistance when the pressure is applied. A very ordinary game of football in the making tonight. Conversion successful. Sharks 18-10.

70th min: No change in the score as the Eels continue to employ the bonehead play option to perfection with constant kicking inside the Sharks red zone on the third tackle. You never know, if they hold the ball for six tackles they may score a try. Don't hold your breath!

FULL TIME: A truly ordinary game of football and if I was a fan attending this game, I'd demand a refund. Parramtta deserve all the criticism they get and more. They played without enthusiasm and without heart and it showed on the scoreboard. Glenn Morrison revived the ghost of 1998 with a Paul Carige like display when they had an opportunity to get back into the match. Less than a metre out from the Sharks line he taps the ball forward and knocks it on.

----------------------------------------- players of the match: 3 - P Gallen (Sharks) 2 - D Peachey (Sharks) 1 - B Kimmorley (Sharks) -----------------------------------------