Rugby League

Sharks put bite on Dogs with second half surge

March 15, 2024 9:03 pm

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The Cronulla Sharks have produced a slashing second half to down a gutsy Bulldogs outfit 25-6 at PointsBet Stadium on Friday night.

The Sharks have now won 12 of their past 14 games against the Bulldogs and take bragging rights in the 100th clash between the two clubs.

A tough start for the Bulldogs with Poasa Faamausili out of the game after clashing heads with Cameron McInnes in the opening hit-up of the game.

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The Sharks then lost Briton Nikora to the sin for a shoulder charge and the Bulldogs looked to have capitalised on the one-man advantage when Viliame Kikau crashed over but the try was ruled out due to the referee getting caught in the defensive line and impeding Cronulla defenders.

Come the 13th minute and the Bulldogs had their reward when Drew Hutchison went right and found Blake Taaffe who sent Blake Wilson over in the corner. Matt Burton’s conversion made it 6-0.

On the back of two straight penalties the Sharks had a golden chance to hit back but the Bulldogs held firm in defence and forced an error from Siosifa Talakai.

With 16 minutes to play in the half the home side got on board through Braydon Trindall after superb lead-up work by Nicho Hynes and Teig Wilton.

A sweeping move to the right side looked to have delivered Wilson a second of the night in the 33rd minute but replays showed the young Bulldog had put his boot on the sideline before launching himself at the line.

The Sharks had all the running late in the half as they went close through Jack Williams and Sione Katoa but the Bulldogs showed plenty of resolve to go to the break level at 6-6.

The Bulldogs opened the second term with all the ball and Kikau was denied by a trysaver from Hynes before a dropped ball by Burton let the Sharks off the hook.

A sizzling run by Will Kennedy put the Sharks on the attack but Kurt Mann came up with a one-on-one steal to defuse the situation for the blue and whites.

When Sharks centre Jesse Ramien powered into the line in the 56th minute and got an offload out to Sione Katoa the Sharks hit the front with Hynes’ sideline conversion making it 12-6.

A dropped ball by Hutchison with 15 minutes to play proved critical as the Sharks launched a raid from their own side of halfway and Ronaldo Mulitalo showed some soccer skills to finish off a great team try that featured slick hands by Hynes, a freakish flick by Wilton and a grubber by Talakai.

With five minutes to play the Sharks iced the win when Mulitalo delivered the final pass for Wilton to cross for his team’s fourth of the night.

Hynes then knocked over a field goal in the dying seconds to make it 25-6 as the Sharks made it two straight to open the season.