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Sharks sink Thurston's gutsy Cowboys

August 18, 2018 5:00 pm

An emotion-charged Andrew Fifita responded to a decision by Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan to bench him midway through the first half by returning to inspire his injury-hit side to a 28-16 defeat of North Queensland at Southern Cross Group Stadium.

Fifita reacted angrily to his benching after conceding a penalty in the lead up to an 18th minute try by Cowboys forward Coen Hess and was animated on the sideline as he prepared to make his return in the 60th minute.

The Sharks went into the match knowing a win by 30 points or more would catapult them into the top four after Penrith’s loss to Newcastle and St George Illawarra’s defeat of Wests Tigers in games played earlier in the day, while a loss could see them drop to seventh.

At fulltime, they had maintained their ladder position in sixth place but kept alive their hopes of a top-four finish.

In the other matches, the Dragons got the points against the Tigers 20-10 while the Knights hurt the Panthers’ NRL top four hopes with an upset victory 20-12.

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