Craig Cauchi reviews the opening match to multicultural round between the Dragons and the Sharks.
St George Illawarra Dragons 12
Tries: Jack Bird (42), Jack Gosiewski (73)
Goals: Zac Lomax 2 (44, 74)
Cronulla Sharks 36
Tries: Sione Katoa (17), Matt Ikuvalu (21), Siosifa Talakai (35), Jesse Ramien (48), Braden Hamlin-Uele (53), Nicho Hynes (66)
Goals: Nicho Hynes 6 (18, 36, 49, 54, 67)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
Both sides kept the ball firmly up the middle of the field as the rain bucketed down on the playing field. The Sharks were playing with a strong breeze behind them and after the early contest were starting to find easy metres down the middle. Jayden Sua was sinbinned for a high shot and it only enhanced the Sharks advantage in the match. They were denied a try to Sione Katoa but the winger was over on the next set, off the back of a nice pass from Jesse Ramien. They were back on the attack shortly after and fellow winger Matt Ikuvalu crossed to give them a 10-0 lead. The Dragons almost got one try back with Ben Hunt held up over the line. It was one of the few chances they had this half with the Sharks closing out the first 40 minutes with a try to Siosifa Talakai and a late penalty goal giving them an 18-0 lead at the break.
HALF-TIME: St George Illawarra Dragons 0 Cronulla Sharks 18Embed from Getty Images
The Dragons got off to the start they needed, scoring inside the first five minutes through Jack Bird off the back of a lovely ball from Ben Hunt. The slow start didn’t last for too long with the Sharks clicking into gear to score back-to-back tries and put the match to bed. The first came off the last play with Nicho Hynes running it on the last and from the ensuing play, the ball ended up in Jesse Ramien’s hands for the Sharks centre to score. The next try came to Braden Hamlin-Uele with a slick kick from Blayke Brailey catching the Dragons short. Nicho Hynes continued to drive the Dragons into a corner and the forwards momentum up the middle was unrelenting. The Sharks halfback was the next to score attacking a retreating defence close to the line. Jesse Ramien was sinbinned in the final 10 minutes and the Dragons were able to cross for a try to Jack Gosiewski.
FULL-TIME: St George Illawarra 12 Dragons Cronulla Sharks 36
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Nicho Hynes (Sharks), 2 pts – Siosifa Talakai (Sharks), 1 pt – Will Kennedy (Sharks)
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