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MATCH REPORT | Cronulla Sharks 16-30 Sydney Roosters

Late fight back from the Sharks, but it was too little too late. Roosters just too strong.

 

MATCH DETAILS

The first 39 minutes of this game was quite hard to watch, with a lot of handling errors and other breaks in play from both teams. It looked as though it was going to be an arm wrestle for the full 80 minutes, but from the last play of the first half through to a little bit into the second half, the Roosters turned it on and put in a truly dominant performance. The defending premiers scored 24 of their 30 points in less than 10 minutes of play. The scoreline really flattered the Sharks when they were never really in the game after that one period of brilliance that would have destroyed most teams.

Two tries in three minutes to the Sharks gave the Sharks a faint glimmer of hope, but that was pretty much it. It was addressed in the post match press conference about how the premiers seemed to switch off a little towards the back-end of the game, however the rest of the comp was put on notice that the Roosters are going to be very hard to beat this year and have a great chance of going back to back.

 

FOUR POINTERS

The momentum swing

The majority of the first half was uneventful. Dropped balls and penalties meant neither team could build any real momentum. The Sharks got a scrum feed just before half time and for some reason decided to kick off the scrum win and hand it back to the Roosters. I think everyone expected them to just take one last hit up and go into the sheds up by 6, but Luke Keary and Latrell Mitchell had other ideas. Last play before half time as the siren was going off, the ball goes to Keary and he puts an inch perfect cross field chip over the defensive line that lands on the chest of a rampaging Latrell to run 60m to score next to the posts.

The best sideline putdown ever?

The third try after half time was special and really has to be seen to be believed. Mid tackle count and the Roosters go through the hands leading to Joseph Manu drawing three defenders and throwing an offload to Matt Ikavalu to defy physics and plant the ball in the in-goal. Watching it live I was 100% sure that there was no way he could have got the ball down, but somehow he did and it will be very hard for anyone to score a more spectacular sideline try.

Not all positives

As I touched on earlier, the first half was dismal from both teams. The Roosters were able to go into the sheds up 12-0 after two tries against the run of play, but they also had a 59% completion rate. This coupled with the way they seemed to switch off towards to end of the game is no doubt a little concerning for Trent Robinson.

The next “Big Three”?

The most dominant combination in the NRL at the moment is Luke Keary, Latrell Mitchell and James Tedesco. They were enormous again against the Sharks and involved in everything good that happened. In a team that is full of firepower, these three guys are a step above everyone else and all three have a legitimate claim to be the best player in the comp. The most worrying thing for me personally is that I’m a Queenslander and a bit worried about Origin this year. The only question that needs to be asked is what will happen with Keary is he’s eligible to NSW but has gone on record to say he’d like to play for Queensland?

 

THE RESULT

SHARKS 16
Tries: Josh Morris, Shaun Johnson, Jack Williams
Goals: Chad Townsend 2/3

ROOSTERS 30
Tries: Cooper Cronk, Latrell Mitchell, James Tedesco, Boyd Cordner, Matt Ikuvalu
Goals: Latrell Mitchell 5/5

 

SQUADS

SHARKS:

1. Josh Dugan
2. Sosaia Feki
3. Bronson Xerri
4. Josh Morris
5. Sione Katoa
6. Shaun Johnson
7. Chad Townsend
8. Andrew Fifita
9. Jayden Brailey
10. Matt Prior
11. Briton Nikora
12. Kurt Capewell
16. Jack Williams

Interchanges:

14. Blayke Brailey
15. Jason Bakuya
17. Scott Sorenson
20. Bradin Hamlin-Uele

ROOSTERS:

1. James Tedesco
2. Daniel Tupou
3. Latrell Mitchell
4. Joseph Manu
5. Matt Ikuvalu
6. Luke Keary
7. Cooper Cronk
15. Zane Tetevano
9. Victor Radley
10. Siosuia Taukeiaho
11. Boyd Cordner
12. Angus Crichton
13. Isaac Liu

Interchanges:

14. Lindsay Collins
16. Poasa Faamausilli
17. Mitch Aubusson
18. Nat Butcher



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