Rugby League

Sharks show class in comeback win over Canberra

April 1, 2024 7:16 am

[Source: NRL]

The Sharks recovered from a slow start to down the Raiders 36-22 in an Easter Sunday showdown at PointsBet Stadium.

Trailing 18-0 after 23 minutes, Cronulla wrestled back momentum to level the scores at half time before controlling proceedings in the second term, running in three more tries in front of a sell-out crowd at Shark Park.

Taking the field without several of their star forwards, Cronulla’s depth was on show with Cam McInnes leading the way up front and Kayal Iro starring in just his second top-flight match at centre.

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Both sides traded early errors but it was the Raiders who opened the scoring with James Schiller looking to make the most of his opportunity in the No. 2 jersey, brushing off Sharks defenders on the back of a slick Matt Timiko tip on.

A Cronulla knock on handed the Raiders a chance to extend their lead with Xavier Savage doing it all himself, using his speed to make the most of open space on the back of the scrum.

Raiders halfback Jamal Fogarty came up with a 40-20 in the 23rd minute gave his side another shot attacking opportunity on the line and hooker Danny Levi cashed in, darting over from dummy half to bring up his third try for the season. Fogarty converted to make it 18-0.

The Sharks opened their account just four minutes later with five-eighth Braydon Trindall splitting the Raiders’ defence before diving over from close range for a crucial try 27 minutes into the match.

Cronulla put themselves right back in the contest five minutes from the break, with Ronaldo Mulitalo finishing off a slick left side shift to reduce the deficit 18-12.

With a sea of momentum behind them, the Sharks went further ahead in the 37th minute when Sione Katoa chased a Blayke Brailey cross field kick before finding Brailey in support who dived over next to the uprights. Nicho Hynes converted and it was all tied up 18-18 at the break.

The scores were still locked 18 minutes into the second term, but Cronulla stole the lead in the 58th minute when Iro ran a superb line off Trindall to power his way over the line to score his first NRL try.

Just four minutes later and the Sharks made it a 12-point lead when Will Kennedy punted a perfectly weighted grubber in front of Mulitalo who grounded the ball in the left corner.

Come the 72nd minute and Schiller made it a double when he finished off a slick right said raid in the corner but Cronulla had the last say when Katoa crossed right on the buzzer to celebrate the comeback win in style.