Cronulla Sharks 28
Tries: Bird, Graham, Tupou, Tagataese,
Goals: Gordon 6
Field goals: 0
South-Sydney Rabbitohs 12
Tries: Walker, Grevsmuhl
Goals: Reynolds 2
Field goals: 0
A sudden death match saw two teams fighting for a chance to the play the Cowboys in Townsville next week.
Defending premiers South Sydney Rabbitohs welcomed back captain Greg Inglis after a minor knee injury, while last years wooden spooners the Cronulla Sharks welcomed back notorious bad boy Andrew Fifita after a six week suspension for bad behaviour.
However, as the players took the field there was no sign of Fifita as he was in the sheds with back spasms, leaving the Sharks with a three man bench.
Early in the game tempers flared leading up to South Sydney’s Luke Keary striking Sharks captain Paul Gallen in the eye, which resulted in a Sharks penalty and Keary placed on report.
In the 21st minute Sharks five eighth Jack Bird broke through defence and ran 30 metres to open up the scoring. Michael Gordon’s conversion was successful, 6-nil.
Ten minutes later the Sharks were in again after Jeff Robson kicked through for Wade Graham who scooped it up with one hand to score. Despite the replay showing the ball possibly not being grounded, the try was still awarded. Morgan converted to extend the lead 12-nil.
Not long after Anthony Tupou ran with determination onto a Michael Ennis ball from dummy half to steam roll over Inglis to score under the posts. Conversion successful and the Sharks lead 18-nil at half time.
Ten minutes into the second half Keary collected a ball in the in goal area and ran 100 metres to ground the ball under the post. The try was sent to the video referee for obstruction that occurred when he first picked up the ball, however the on field referee failed to stop play. The try was disallowed and the Sharks were awarded a penalty to extend their lead to 20-nil.
A furious Rabbitohs side answered back with aggressive defence which unfortunately sent Jason Clark from the field with an inured arm.
In the 60th minute Ennis again produced the goods from dummy half as his pass sent Sam Tagataese over the line. Gordon successfully converted to put Cronulla in an unsurmountable lead at 26-nil.
Gallen broke through defence before Inglis’ arm striked him in the head, placing Inglis on report. Gordon a shot at two and takes the lead out to 28-nil.
In the 66th minute Souths finally crossed the line after a poor read by Sharks’ Ricky Leutele allowed Dylan Walker to score. Adam Reynolds’ conversion was successful, 28-6.
Soon after Ennis was placed on report for a high tackle on Chris McQueen.
In the last ten minutes the game became very scrappy. In the 75th minute Souths’ Chris Grevsmuhl threw a dummy and scored an easy try. Reynolds converted to wrap the score up and Souths’ season at 28-12.