Brisbane Broncos 22
Tries: Dave Hala 2, Daniel Vidot, Alex Glenn tries
Goals: Ben Hunt 3 goals
Cronulla Sharks 24
Tries: Jacob Gagan, Paul Gallen, Todd Carney, Sosaia Feki
Goals: Michael Gordon 4 goals
The Cronulla Sharks have staged an extraordinary comeback by beating the Brisbane Broncos 24-22 at Suncorp Stadium on Friday, despite being down 22-nil down with less than half an hour to go.
The Sharks hadn’t scored a solitary point for 322 minutes of football, before the floodgates opened when Jacob Gagan scored his first career try in the 54th minute of play.
The early signs in the game didn’t indicate the later result, with the Sharks first losing Luke Lewis early after a head clash with Bronco’s hooker Jake Granville.
Ben Hunt, who was outstanding for the Broncos, put Daniel Vidot over out wide with a wonderful flat cut out pass, before doing the same in mid field to put Alex Glenn over untouched.
With a 10-nil lead after 28 minutes signs would have been concerning for Sharks under fire interim coach, but the Broncos were not done with yet.
Ben Hunt again provided a try, this time for man-mountain David Hala, Hunt stepping past some poor defence from Fa’aman Brown before offloading to Hala who simply had to put the ball down.
After playing their 7th straight half of football without scoring, the Sharks found themselves down 16-nil at the break.
They went further behind when Hala got a rare front rowers double, the prop barging over from close range, to extend the margin to 22-nil after 43 minutes.
Then the momentum changed.
On the back of a number of repeat sets, Cronulla were able to build some pressure of their own.
A pinpoint Todd Carney chip kick found an unmarked Jacob Gagan, who slid in untouched for the Sharks first try in the 54th minute.
Michael Gordon converted the try from the sideline, which would prove pivotal as the match went on.
Four minutes later, they were in again, this time through Gallen, who did his best impression of Hala’s second try, barging his way to the line.
And when Todd Carney sliced through a tiring Brisbane defence, the game was back on, with Sharks trailing by just four points, as well as holding all the momentum.
Hunt looked to end the Sharks strong hold on possession, putting a well weighted kick into the Cronulla in goal, before tackling Gordon to stop him getting back to the field of play.
But try as Hunt would, he couldn’t stop the surging Sharks, and when Dale Copley spilt a Todd Carney bomb in the 74th minute, Feki was there to clean up the scraps.
Gordon piloted the conversion attempt through the uprights to give the Cronulla side the lead they wouldn’t relinquish, winning the game and breaking their five match losing streak.