The Sharks travelled to Bega on the weekend for a rematch of last year’s Grand Final against the Bega Roosters.
The Sharks were reeling from injuries, losing Brent Pan, Brendon Ellis and Luke Jay after their win against Batemens Bay last week. With Luc Hill, Zach Ingram, Justin Zutt, James Bundy and Aaron Brierley hurt, the sharks were very much understrength for this round 7 clash.
The Sharks were first to post points when a wide shift saw Caine Brierley put Jermaine Connolly away down the left edge, before Connolly drew the fullback and passed back inside for Brierley to score.
Bega soon responded when classy second rower Ryan Apps stormed across the line to have the Sharks leading 6-4. The Sharks posted points when Rhys Burazer finished off a back-line movement, with Dennis Green’s second conversion taking the Aharks to a 10-4 lead.
An injury to hardworking second rower Dean Scott left the Sharks further depleted. Bega responded with two tries before Brierley scored his second after chasing a grubber in-goal, snatching the ball from the Bega fullback and planting the ball. The Sharks greeted the half time siren with a 18-14 lead.
They started the second stanza in second gear and looked lethargic in attack and defence.
Bega capitalised when Apps crossed for his second after two minutes. The Sharks responded with some good attack on the Roosters’ line, which appeared to pay off when Tim Weyman forced his way across the stripe. The referee, who looked initially to award the try, took advice from his touch judge before ruling Weyman was held up.
The set-back seemed to unsettle the Sharks, allowing Bega to score in the 13th minute. The Sharks were reeling when a high bomb was fielded by Bega fullback Zach Cuzner on his own 20-metre line, before weaving through some feeble shark defence to race 80 metres to score. The conversion put the Roosters at 32-18, with 22 minutes left.
The Sharks were stung into action, posting tries to replacement Corey Arnold and captain Dennis Green to reduce the margin back to 32-28 with 4 minutes remaining.
A late try to Bega wrapped up the game as the Sharks attempted to play catch-up. Bega were convincing winners 38-28.
Continued page 22.
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