Wade Graham is taken from the field after a head-knock against the Dragons in Round 3.

Sharks v Dragons: Five key points

The Dragons made it consecutive wins over their next-door neighbours with a 16-10 victory over a Sharks side that looks rusty following last year's premiership success. 

HIA debate rages on 

Dragons coach Paul McGregor has revealed why fullback Josh Dugan wasn't taken from the field for an HIA test despite looking dazed after copping a stray elbow from teammate Russell Packer. 

"I think it was a jaw injury, not a head injury, and that was the report I got back in the box. He said it was his jaw and I back my medical staff. If it's a jaw it's a jaw and it has nothing to do with concussion."

The Sharks had their own dramas with Wade Graham forced off twice for HIA tests, with the back-rower ruled out of the contest midway through the second half. 

"It's a tough one," Sharks coach Shane Flanagan said. "But we've got a clear policy here at the club. If the doctor rules them out then they're out and we just move forward."

Knights coach Nathan Brown called for an 18th man to be introduced as cover for head knocks, and support could grow after a week littered with HIA controversy. 

 


McInnes looks at home in the Red V

Dragons rake Cameron McInnes has continued to fly under the radar as one of the buys of the season. 

The former South Sydney hooker joined the Red V this year and has been their most consistent performer over the first three weeks.

McInnes is averaging 50 tackles per game, has had a try assist in all three matches, and even scored a try in Round 1, but it's his ability to play 80 minutes that has his coach smiling. 

"That's pleasing for a coach because if you've got a guy who can play 80 minutes in the middle at nine, you can use your interchanges a bit more with your bigs and bring that next power bloke on," McGregor said. 

Fullback headache for the Sharks 

Sharks coach Shane Flanagan will have plenty to think about this week when it comes to choosing a fullback for the game against Parramatta on Saturday night. 

Jack Bird looked solid in the No.1 jersey with 132 metres and eight tackle breaks to go with his 133 metres and a try assist from last week. 

However, Flanagan wasn't overly thrilled with his performance.

"He was just one of many that didn't have his best day, but there were 16 of them who didn't have their best day."

Valentine Holmes looked good in his return from a hamstring injury and switched between wing and fullback in the second half. 

"He had his moments," Flanagan said. "I thought he was going to poke through the other side of the line a few times. He played 20 or 30 minutes in a trial in Brisbane 6-8 weeks ago so he'll only get better."

Luke Lewis ages like a fine wine

Luke Lewis turns 34 later this year, but you wouldn't know it. The two-time premiership winner continues to defy his age with impressive performance after impressive performance. Despite being on the wrong end of the scoreline on Sunday, Lewis could still hold his head high with 33 tackles and 66 metres to go with an opportunistic try. But the biggest highlight from the match was his bell-ringer on Dragons five-eighth Gareth Widdop which jolted the ball free and brought the crowd to its feet. There's a fair chance he's already wrapped up the award for biggest hit of the year; something he also achieved in 2016 for his shot on Penrith's Matt Moylan in Round 8. 

Women's football grows another leg

The Sharks might have fallen in the NRL, but their women's Nines side had no such troubles against the Dragons in the curtain-raiser on Sunday evening. Shontelle Stowers was the star of the show with two terrific solo tries while Nita Maynard wreaked havoc with two first-half try assists and plenty of metres through the middle of the ruck.