Chloe Schibeci reviews the Sunday afternoon clash between Cronulla-Sutherland and the Wests Tigers.
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 30
Tries: Sione Katoa 2 (19, 35), Briton Nikora (8), Ronaldo Mulitalo (47), Jesse Ramien (66), William Kennedy (69)
Goals: Nicho Hynes 3 (10, 48, 70)
Wests Tigers 4
Tries: Ken Maumalo (79)
In Sunday afternoon blockbuster at PointsBet Stadium, Cronulla were trying to keep themselves in the top four while the Tigers were hoping for their first win of the season. The Tigers were unfortunately not off to a good start, after fullback Daine Laurie tested positive for COVID-19 just hours before kick-off.
The first try of the afternoon came within the first 10 minutes, Briton Nikora being the one to put the points on the board for Cronulla.
Ronaldo Mulitalo went over for what would have been Cronulla’s second try of the afternoon, however it was called back after the Bunker reviewed and found Mulitalo made contact with the touchline while trying to ground the ball.
The Tigers were awarded a penalty after the referee ruled high contact from Braden Hamlin-Uele, who ended up on report for the incident. Not long after, the Sharks were also awarded a penalty for the same thing. The Sharks were able to capitalise on the opportunity and score their second try of the afternoon with Sione Katoa being the one to cross.
The Tigers challenged a Cronulla penalty – which was awarded with just five minutes to go – and were unsuccessful. The set that followed for the Sharks saw Katoa score his second try of the afternoon.
The Sharks were well and truly on top, but the Tigers had a whole second half ahead of them to put themselves in the contest and hopefully claim their first win of the 2022 season.
HALF-TIME: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 14 Wests Tigers 0
Following a similar timeline to that of the first half, the first try of the second half came from the Sharks after Mulitalo broke through the defence of the Tigers with ease.
The game was interrupted about with 22 minutes remaining, after two people ran onto the field mid-play. The first of the two let off a flare.
It wasn’t looking too promising for the Wests Tigers, who were struggling significantly to do anything with their possession.
The Sharks were given a perfect opportunity in the Tigers’ half, after managing to regain possession from a Tigers’ attempt at a short drop-out. The try was disallowed for Cronulla, however they were given the scrum feed after the Tigers knocked the ball on. Third time was the charm for the Sharks, Jesse Ramien finally being the one to score after spending plenty of time in the Tigers’ half.
With 10 minutes to go, the Sharks once again took full advantage of a hole in the Tigers’ defence; Nicho Hynes passed to Cam McInnes, who then made plenty of ground to then pass to Will Kennedy who scored for Cronulla.
The Tigers were finally able to put themselves on the board with just 30 seconds left in the game, with Ken Maumalo intercepting the ball from the Cronulla line and running away with the ball.
FULL-TIME: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 30 Wests Tigers 4
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS
3 pts – Nicho Hynes (Sharks), 2 pts – Ronaldo Mulitalo (Sharks), 1 pt – Siosifa Talakai (Sharks)
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