The Cronulla Sharks made it five straight wins on Sunday afternoon, defeating the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 22-16 at Southern Cross Group Stadium.
The Bulldogs were the first to score, with Josh Morris going over for a try just nine minutes into the match. However, it only took five minutes for the Sharks to hit back with Edrick Lee and Valentine Holmes scoring tries in a matter of minutes. The scores were level at 10-10 at half-time. The Bulldogs scored one try in the second half while the Sharks scored two, leaving the Sharks with the 22-16 victory at home.
Cronulla Captain Returns
After four weeks away, Paul Gallen returned to the starting side for Cronulla on Sunday afternoon. He suffered an injury when the Sharks last played the Dragons at WIN Stadium. He was expected to make a return last weekend, however, the club decided to give him an extra week to improve his fitness. He played 54 minutes of the match against the Bulldogs and ran 149 metres. His return on Sunday most definitely made an impact on his side’s performance while on the field.
Canterbury Still Struggling
The Bulldogs are now three wins from 11 matches and are struggling to find momentum that will give them the victories they need to continue through the season. Their win last weekend against the Eels did give them a much-needed confidence boost, which allowed them to be in the entire match against Cronulla, losing by just six points. They had a high completion rate and were dominant in some aspects of the match. While they still have work to do, it is clear that the Bulldogs are slightly improving each week.
It’s no surprise to see that the penalty count was so high in the match on Sunday afternoon. An equal amount of penalties were conceded by both the Sharks and the Bulldogs, which totalled 22 throughout the entire match. When there are these many penalties in one game, the momentum can easily be lost and the game can become tedious to watch, and Sunday afternoon was no exception.
Five in a Row
The Sharks have jumped ahead of the Roosters and the Melbourne Storm into fifth place on the NRL Premiership Ladder, after winning their fifth consecutive match on Sunday afternoon. The winning streak began against the Panthers in late April, and the Sharks have been improving each week since. The combinations are getting better and Andrew Fifita’s leadership skills have been successful. None of these last five wins have been easy ones, and the Sharks still do have improvements to make, however, the efforts of the club over the last few weeks have given them a considerable boost in confidence.
Cronulla Sharks 22
Tries: Edrick Lee, Valentine Holmes, Jesse Ramien, Matt Prior
Goals: Chad Townsend 3
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 16
Tries: Josh Morris, Brett Morris 2
Goals: Moses Mbye 2
21 Josh Dugan 1 Valentine Holmes 3 Jesse Ramien 4 Ricky Leutele 5 Edrick Lee 6 Matt Moylan 7 Chad Townsend 8 Andrew Fifita 9 Jayden Brailey 10 Matt Prior 11 Kurt Capewell 14 Joseph Paulo 13 Paul Gallen © INTERCHANGE 12 Jayson Bukuya 15 James Segeyaro 16 Ava Seumanufagai 17 Jack Williams
1. Moses Mbye 2. Brett Morris 3. Josh Morris 4. Will Hopoate 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Matt Frawley 7. Kieran Foran 8. Aaron Woods 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 15 Clay Priest 11. Josh Jackson 14 Adam Elliott 13. Rhyse Martin INTERCHANGE 10 David Klemmer 16. Renouf To’omaga 17. Kerrod Holland 21. Asipeli Fine