Sharks surge into Holden Cup top four
The Sharks have jumped the Roosters into third spot on the Holden Cup ladder with a crucial 34-28 win on Saturday night.
Both teams managed six tries but the goal kicking of halfback Jack Williams proved the difference with the Sharks No.7 nailing five conversions compared to two goals for counterpart Jackson Hastings.
With 224 points scored in the three early Saturday games, it was no surprise to see Bernard Lewis dive over for the Roosters inside three minutes to keep up with the high-scoring theme.
The lead quickly blew out to 10 points when the returning Paul Momirovski punished the Sharks for sending the kick-off out on the full to cross out wide.
Needing to wrestle back momentum, the Sharks turned to their inspirational skipper Jayden Brailey to set up prop Daniel Vasquez with his 28th try assist of the season.
The visitors looked to have nabbed their third try of the evening when Lewis raced through to ground a Hastings grubber only for the effort to be disallowed for a knock on.
The winger didn't have to wait long to make amends with the Junior Maroons star spectacularly converting a chance in the left corner after some mesmerising footwork from Hastings in the lead-up.
Just when it looked like the Tricolours would post more points, cult hero Isaac Lumelume intercepted a stray pass to race 60 metres and bring the Sharks within four points before Jesse Savage did it all himself from acting half to give the hosts a shock lead at half-time.
It took just three minutes for the home side to extend their advantage after the break with winger Josh Tuilagi doing his best Bernard Lewis impression to finish off a slick backline movement with a flashy finish in the left corner.
The Roosters' response was swift and fairly soft with interchange forward Victor Radley slicing through some flimsy defence off a simple scrum play to bring his side within two points with half an hour to play.
Tuilagi should have hit straight back for the Sharks but inexplicably put down a pass with the line wide open to let the visitors off the hook.
It would prove to be a costly mistake as Roosters centre Kiah Cooper cut back against the grain to help his side regain the lead in the 60th minute.
The see-sawing affair took another turn when Brailey and Vasquez linked up to send the big man over for a thoroughly-deserved double before fleet-footed fullback Will Kennedy stepped his way through to give Cronulla some breathing space.
There was still time for one final twist when Lewis crashed over from close range to complete his hat-trick, but the Roosters couldn't produce the miracle play at the death to force a draw.
Sharks 34 (Daniel Vasquez 2, Isaac Lumelume, Jesse Savage, Josh Tuilagi, Will Kennedy tries; Jack Williams 5 goals) defeated Roosters 28 (Bernard Lewis 3, Paul Momirovski, Victor Radley, Kiah Cooper tries; Jackson Hastings 2 goals) at Southern Cross Group Stadium. Half-time: 18-16 Sharks.