Cronulla Sharks 28
Tries: B Barba, L Lewis, S Feki, V Holmes, A Fifita
Goals:M Gordon 2/3, V Holmes 2/2
St George Dragons 8
Tries:C Runciman 2
Goals:G Widdop 0/2
The Sharks have earned revenge over local rivals the Dragons with an emphatic 28-8 victory on Sunday afternoon. After being embarrassed at the hands of the Dragons earlier this season with a 42-6 loss, the boys from Cronulla were fired up, and catapulted themselves to just one position outside of the top eight.
The game in Round 12 this season was a one-way affair with the Dragons dominating, and Sunday’s game was a similar story, however this time it was the Sharks who ran riot over their opponents.
With star players Josh Dugan, Benji Marshall and Trent Merrin being ruled out of the game late, the Dragons struggled to compete, as the Sharks crossed the line after just 3 minutes. Some slick passing resulted in some room to move for Sosaia Feki, and the winger crashed through defenders to score in the left corner.
Luke Lewis was clearly determined in his 250th NRL game, and he crashed through some poor defence to score in the 24th minute to extend Cronulla’s lead to extend the Sharks lead to 10.
Only two minutes later the Sharks were in again, as whiz kid Valentine Holmes dived over in the right corner to extend the margin to 16-0.
With half time approaching, the Dragons were desperate to get some points on the board, and they did just that when Charly Runciman caught a long ball from Gareth Widdop and charged to the try line. Widdop failed to add the extras from the sideline, and the two teams went to the break with the scoreline of 16-4.
It was a spirited start to the second-half from St George, who put plenty of pressure on the Sharks, however the Cronulla wall held strong. Ben Barba pulled off one of the try-savers of the season, as he halted Ben Creagh in his tracks. The veteran forward looked certain to score once he broke the line, however the much smaller Barba held his ground and slammed Creagh onto his back only centimetres from the try-line.
The Sharks turned defence into points when a perfectly weighted grubber out of dummy-half from Michael Ennis bounced into the hands of Andrew Fifita, and with his try the Dragons hopes of a comeback were gone.
Not only is he capable of stopping tries, Ben Barba showed that he can score them too. Barba put a deft grubber kick in for Feki, who passed back to Barba in support to score.
The Dragons crossed for a consolation try with seven minutes remaining after Runciman stepped his way past Barba to score his second.
The loss was the fifth consecutive defeat for the Dragons, and will see them slip down to 6th on the table, with a drop out of the top eight looking likely unless they can turn their season around.