Last Time Played: Sharks v Roosters
The Roosters defeated the Sharks 36-25 at Allianz Stadium in Round 24 last year in a bizarre game that changed complexion dramatically in the second half.
The Sharks looked on target for victory when they led 22-12 at the break, with two tries to winger John Williams inside the final 10 minutes pivotal.
Roosters rake Jake Friend scored to bridge the gap to 22-18 shortly after the resumption before a Nathan Stapleton penalty goal edged the visitors to a converted try advantage. They looked good things for victory when Wade Graham banged over a field-goal with eight minutes remaining to secure a 25-18 lead – but then Sharks fullback Nathan Gardner came up with a brain snap that gaff-hooked his side and saw the Roosters close to within a point. Instead of grabbing a Mitchell Pearce grubber close to his try-line the custodian attempted to soccer-kick the ball dead; unfortunately the Steeden rebounded off the right upright back into the field of play, with Jake Friend scooping up the loose ball and crossing for his second try.
Full of enthusiasm, the Roosters continued to pepper the Sharks’ try-line, with Anthony Minichiello crossing for the match-winner off a last-ditch Shaun Kenny-Dowall offload with three minutes on the clock. Frank-Paul Nuuausala completed the sensational comeback with a too-easy barge-over try as the fulltime siren sounded.
Stats showed the Roosters deserved their win: they made 315 metres more than their opponents and made six line-breaks (to two). The Sharks paid the price for some wishy-washy defence, missing 51 tackles (including 30 in the second half).