Rugby League

Hunt leads Sharks home in second half fightback against Broncos

June 8, 2024 10:31 pm

[Source: NRL]

A barnstorming 19-minute stint from interchange prop Royce Hunt inspired the Sharks to a stunning 22-12 triumph against the Broncos that reinforced their premiership credentials.

Hunt came off the bench just before halftime with his side trailing 12-4 and lifted his team with a number of charging runs and bone-rattling tackles that forced errors as Cronulla took charge after the interval.

The Kiwis international ran 78 metres with five carries of the ball and produced six tackle breaks before returning for another five-minute stint at the end of the game.

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The dominant second half performance, in which the Sharks scored an unanswered 22 points, was the response coach Craig Fitzgibbon was looking for after a 42-0 loss to Penrith and 34-22 defeat by Parramatta.

Kotoni Staggs began his audition for a NSW Origin recall in impressive fashion when he accepted an offload from Jordan Riki and raced into the clear.

With Staggs producing a quick play the ball, Broncos hooker Billy Walters raced out of dummy half and ran 30 metres before passing to Pat Carrigan for his third NRL try and just the first of the season in the 12th minute.

The Sharks hit back in spectacular fashion when halfback Braydon Trindall managed to offload near Brisbane’s line and quick hands by Cameron McInnes and Will Kennedy enabled Siosifa Talakai to score in the 18th minute.

The Broncos went to halftime leading 12-4 after Jock Madden regathered his own grubber kick and put interchange hooker Tyson Smoothy over in the 33rd minute.

The Sharks showed their intent at the start of the second half when interchange prop Royce Hunt tackled Fletcher Baker near his own tryline from the kick off and a fumbled kick from Tristan Sailor offered a scoring opportunity.

From the scrum win, Cronulla winger Sione Katoa beat Selwyn Cobbo and carried Ezra Mam over the tryline to score in the 43rd minute.

The Sharks hit the front for the first time when Trindall dummied past Brisbane second-rower Brendan Piakura to score in the 48th minute after Kayal Iro knocked the ball loose from the grasp of Staggs.