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NRL Match Reports

Four Pointers: Cronulla Sharks 30 St George Illawarra Dragons 2

As has become accustom teams are far too often taking the two points on offer regardless of the match situation. This was the case again yesterday as the Dragons were granted a penalty in front (which also resulted in a sin bin), instead of attacking a Sharks outfit who were one man short and going for the try early in the game. A defensive mindset can be fatal in the NRL – to win at the top level you need to score points and take advantage of your opponent when there is a chance.

As good as Benji Marshall and Gareth Whiddop have been in successful attacking teams in the past they lack the firepower as a combination to compete with the top teams in the NRL. Benji at his beast could tear a defense to shreds unfortunately he is at the tail end of his career, unless their backs find some spark it could be a long year ahead.

Unlike in previous years the Sharks now appear to have a lethal edge which has eluded them in past finals campaigns. The combination of Maloney and Townsend can finally give Sharks fans cause for optimism as their team now has the strike power to accompany their solid defensive outfit. Sharks fans can start dreaming about September heroics.

In a week where State Government investment was on the table to centralise the NRL (as per Melbourne and the AFL), 18,000 rugby league fans showed why suburban grounds are so important to our game. To move away from the smaller grounds is to ignore the history and culture of the game. Sydney is a city of tribes, fans don’t want to travel 30km into the city or to Homebush to watch their teams do battle. To hold a local derby anywhere but in the heartland of the teams competing is to not understand who and what has come before.

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