Bouncing back from a disappointing second half in their last outing the Toyota Cup Sharks have enjoyed a solid 32-22 victory over the Melbourne Storm.
It was a performance to please coach James Shepherd, especially considering he was down to two bench players as a result of game-ending injuries to front rowers Solo Alone and Dylan Hill.
The Sharks were on the back foot from the outset when prop Alone was forced from the field in the first minute of the match with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury.
However the Cronulla side battled hard in the opening exchanges and it wasn’t until the 19th minute when first points went on the board courtesy of a 75 metre solo effort from Melbourne fullback Denny Solomona.
The Sharks continued to compete with the Melbourne side and their efforts were rewarded when Josh Lambert finished off a slick backline movement to touch down wide out.
Taylar Garrett kicked a magnificent conversion into the wind from the sideline and the scores were locked at 6-all.
Gaining confidence from their first points the Sharks again went on the attack and this time it was the other winger to score, with Finlay Dibley showing great strength to crash over in the northwestern corner.
Again Garrett’s kick was picture perfect, this time from the opposite sideline and the Sharks would go to the halftime break ahead by 12-6.
The second half began as the first finished, with the Sharks well on top. Tries to Tyrone Viiga and Paul McClory, off a clever Garrett pass, gave the home team a handy break as the Sharks went ahead 22-6.
A further four pointer, this time to centre Daniel Moroko put the Sharks further in front at 26-12 and despite three Melbourne tries, which following last weeks late surrender to Souths made coach James Shepherd a little bit nervous, a second try to Viiga would ensure the victory for the Sharks.
The win consolidated the Sharks place in the top eight on the NYC table.
Next week the Sharks face the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium in Monday Night Football, kicking off at 4:45.