Valentine Holmes leads Sharks to come from behind victory

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The Sharks defeated the Raiders 24-16

A great start from the Sharks allowing Chad Townsend to put up an attacking kick off the opening set and with the Cronulla chasers coming through allowed Jack Wighton barely any room to take the ball and in doing so caused the error allowing the Sharks the ball again in great field position. However excellent defence from the Raiders saw Jack Wighton put on a solid hit forcing the ball loose from Moylan stopping an almost certain try.

The celebrations didn't last long however because the Raiders dropped the ball again gifting the Sharks more ball. The Raiders dodged a bullet with Joey Leilua knocking the ball back off the kick from Sosia Feki but the Sharks defence was too strong and didn't allow the Raiders to move forward.

The Sharks almost hit back on the following set with an attacking kick from Chad Townsend saw the Sharks bat the ball back to Matt Prior who offloaded to Ava Seumanafagai but it was an outstanding tackle from Raiders Captain Jarrod Croker who held him up over the line forcing the turnover.

The Raiders were straight on the front foot with an outstrnading run from Shannon Boyd and a kick in behind on last tackle from Elliot Whitehead saw Valentine Holmes try and shepperd the ball over the dead ball line but a great pick up from Nic Cotric saw the Home Side strike first leading 6-0 after the conversion from Aiden Sezer after just 10 minutes.

It took only 2 minutes for the Sharks to hit back through Fullback Valentine Holmes, An uncontested attacking kick from the Raiders saw Holmes catch the ball without any trouble and the left foot step saw him get around Leilua to run away 80 meters for the try levelling the scores at 6-6.

It took us 14 minutes to get our first penalty of the game and it came as the Raiders were inside the 10 meter mark and marched the Sharks up the field. The next set of attack saw the Raiders penalised for the exact same thing and just as it looked like the Sharks would score the Raiders were penalised again for being offside.

The Raiders hung on however with a knock on coming saving the Raiders from conceding points. both sides went set for set both completing a number of sets before the Raiders conceded a penalty in the 22nd minute in which the Sharks elected to go for the 2 points and kick it giving the visitors an 8-6 lead.

A penalty close to the line in the play the ball cost the Raiders a try as Rapana picked the ball up from dummy half however it didn't take long as Blake Austin caught the ball of a beautiful pass from Josh Papalii and scored under the posts, but it isn't all good news as he came from the field after injuring his knee getting it caught in a bad way under Andrew Fifita and was carried off the field by the trainers being replaced by Ata Hingano.

A great set off the restart from the Raiders saw Havilii have an out standing run out of dummy half as well as Jack Wighton busting threw the line saw the Raiders almost go in again but a horrid pass to Charlie Gubb saw the ball dropped.

A charge down from Elliot Whitehead saw the Raiders come up with the ball in good field position but an outstanding chase down from Chad Townsend saw the play come to a halt. The next play the Sharks came up with a penalty for being inside the 10 meter mark which the Raiders choosing to go for the two points.

A string of penalties to close out the half saw Jarrod Croker add another two points giving the Raiders a 16-8 lead heading into halftime. To summarise the first half the Sharks had most of the ball for the opening 15-20 minutes as well as getting the first 4 penalties of the game but once the possession evened up a bit the complete opposite happened. The Raiders went into the break with the last 5 penalties without conceding any as well as putting on most of the points.


The Second half starts with a solid set from the Raiders but concede a penalty after the kick for Leilua being offside. The Raiders had a near miss when Cronulla came close to scoring off a high attacking kick allowing Cronulla to out leap Wighton and bat the ball back but led to a knock on.

The Raiders almost hit back and was very unlucky with a call going against the Home side for a forward pass which would have allowed Cotric to score in the corner. The first 8 minutes of the second half went back and forth with neither side able to gain the upper hand and both being sloppy with the ball completing 1/3 sets.

An early kick in the set from the Raiders almost pinned Valentine Holmes in the in goal area but was hit hard and left on the ground as he passed the ball to Feki who got out the in goal area. At this point of the game the Raiders back 5 were all over the Sharks back 5 and Cronulla just couldn't contain or slow down the Raiders backs who ate a lot of meters and owned the field position.

 After a string of questionable penalties for being inside the 10, Cronulla appeared to strike back down the left edge with Sosaia Feki scoring in the corner however what appeared to be a bad call ended up ruling against the visitors.

On the following set Aiden Sezer dropped the ball down the other end of the field giving the Sharks the ball back almost right away. Down the Raiders end of the field a six again call saw Valentine Holmes send debutante Jack Williams back on the inside with a brilliant tap back scoring his first try and the conversion attempt from Chad Townsend allowing the Sharks back into the game with 20 minutes remaining.

 The Sharks were almost in again but a forward pass from Matt Moylan put a stop to that and the Raiders went straight on the offensive and with a line break down the left from Jarrod Croker almost saw the Home side get in, but the Sharks conceded a penalty from laying in the ruck. Joseph Tapine almost went in on the next play but an amazing tackle from Matt Moylan around the legs cut the big forward down short but yet again the Sharks conceded a penalty on the line.

The Raiders ended up coming away with nothing after a poor kick on 5th tackle from Hingano saw the Sharks come up with a ball and the Raiders just concede a lazy penalty. The Sharks moved up the field quite easily and a line break and dummy from James Segeyaro saw the ball shift to the right and Edrick Lee almost went over in the corner but brilliant slide defence from Jarrod Croker and Nic Cotric saw the ball come loose over the try line.

In the 66th minute a brilliant shift down the short side saw a nice short pass from Moylan to Paulo which saw Feki end up with the Ball and explode down the sideline going into to score. Chad Townsend missed the conversion however the Sharks had the lead heading into the final 15 minutes of the game.

The Sharks almost hit back straight away with a quick play the ball saw Valentine Holmes and James Segeyaro almost assist in the Sharks scoring. However a clean up of a kick by Leilua saved the Raiders. The Raiders got a line break through James Rapana however an error saw the ball handed straight back to the Sharks.

The Sharks moved back up the field however a turnover on 5th tackle saw Joseph Tapine take off on a line break however as they moved up the field, much like the previous set the Raiders came up with an error handing the ball and field position back to the Sharks.

The Raiders held on and moved up easily up the field with 7 minutes remaining on the clock, however a poor kick on 5th tackle from Jack Wighton Saw the Sharks with the ball back and with a 7 tackles set.

Segeyaro had a line break and tore right through the middle of the field and instead of passing the ball to Chad Townsend in support he threw the dummy and was hit with a great shot from Jack Wighton. After the quick play the ball Andrew Fafita looked to have gone through to score but a great hit from Elliot Whitehead saw the ball come free giving the ball back to the Raiders.

The Raiders once again cruised down the field however a rushed kick from Sezer saw Edrick Lee catch the ball uncontested. The Sharks came up with an error from dummy half and the Raiders used this set to try something special. A run from Joseph Tapine got the Raiders in great field position however a poor offload saw James Segeyaro come up with the intercept and he passed the ball off to Valentine Holmes who raced away for his second try of the game sealing the win for the Sharks.

Fewy's Player of the Game: Valentine Holmes

Scoring Timeline:
8' (Try) Nic Cotric (CAN)
9' (Conversion) Jarrod Croker (CAN)
10' (Try) Valentine Holmes (CRO)
12' (Conversion) Chad Townsend (CRO)
24' (Penalty Goal) Chad Townsend (CRO)
28' (Try) Blake Austin (CAN)
30' (Conversion) Jarrod Croker (CAN)
34' (Penalty Goal) Jarrod Croker (CAN)
39' (Penalty Goal) Jarrod Croker (CAN)

HT

56' (Try) Jack Williams (CRO)
57' (Conversion) Chad Townsend (CRO)
66' (Try) Sosaia Feki (CRO)
80' (Try) Valentine Holmes (CRO)
80' (Conversion) Chad Townsend (CRO)

-Fewy

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