Newcastle a class above their 2016 selves.
They may not have won the game, but they sure as hell won my respect. They took the defending premiers right to the last minute, even with everything against them. Times are still tough in Newcastle, but there are bright times ahead for this one town club. With players like Rory Kostjasyn and Nathan Ross to return to their side, they can definitely win a few in 2017.
Sharks look out of touch in attack
There were moments where the Sharks showed how good their attack can be, but for most of the afternoon, it was clustered and rushed. Valentine Holmes looked like he was trying too hard at fullback, pushing unnecessary passes several times through the match. They were lucky to escape with the 2 points.
James Maloney is as cool as ice
Need a game winning play? Look no further than Sharks half James Maloney. Once again he stepped up for Cronulla when they needed it most, slotting the game winning field goal without breaking a sweat. He brings success wherever he goes, and he proved again why he’s such a valuable asset of this Sharks team.
Skill is important, but heart is a major factor
The skill and experience the Sharks had over the Knights ended up being enough to secure them the win, but Newcastle continue to show what passion can do for a teams performance. They may not have the superstar lineup of the Sharks, but they put in for each other for 80 minutes, and play with a lot of heart. It’s all well and good being highly talented, but if you don’t put in effort, you won’t go far.
Cronulla Sharks 19
Tries: Gerard Beale, Sosaia Feki, Valentine Holmes
Goals: James Maloney 3/4
Field Goals: James Maloney
Newcastle Knights 18
Tries: Joe Wardle, Brendan Elliot, Jacob Gagan
Goals: Trent Hodkinson 3/3