Full Time
7:30pm Sat August 18, 2018
Round 23 - PointsBet Stadium - Crowd: 12270

Match Overview

Cronulla produced four tries in a second half display to see off the gallant North Queensland Cowboys in a 24-16 victory in front of 12,270 fans at Shark Park.

The Sharkswere looking to jump back into the top 4 with a big win over the North Queensland Cowboys and things started off well for the Sharks with large amounts of possession to start the game.

The home side looked to have opened the scoring after just seven minutes when Matt Moylan took a big gap in the Cowboys defensive line to claim a try. The call was sent to the bunker on a live decision of try however it was quickly overturned with the bunker ruling that Paul Gallen stopped in the defensive line and denied Jordan McLean an opportunity to make a tackle.

They were able to make their possession dominance pay dividends just under ten minutes later when some good work from Moylan and Townsend drew in the Cowboys defence and gave Luke Lewis an open passage to the try line.

North Queensland were able to hit back in quick fashion when Johnathan Thurston showed some of his magic when he was able to draw in two Sharks defenders and give the ball onto Coen Hess who scored the Cowboys opener. They added a penalty goal with six minutes to go in the first half when the Sharks were penalised for an incorrect play the ball.

Cronulla had a second try disallowed on the stroke of halftime when Valentine Holmes strolled through a gap but this time a live decision of no try stood in the way of the Sharks with Sorensen ruled to have obstructed Jake Clifford

For the second half, the Sharks weren't at their best, but did enough to get over a game Cowboys. They took the lead twice, through Chad Townsend and a fired-up Andrew Fifita but were pegged back by two tough efforts from Jordan McLean and the ageless Gavin Cooper, the latter made it seven straight games with a four-pointer. 

It was all set up! Johnathan Thurston had a kick to give us a grandstand finish, the old gunslinger had his trademark curve on the ball but it failed to swing enough, as 18-16 would be the closest the visitors would get in the halfback's final visit to the harbour city.

From there, Cronulla showed their guile, they thrust forward and although they were denied by a Dugan knock on, a deliberate act of offside play put the Cowboys down to ten men. From there, the Shire boys added a pair of tries to Josh Dugan and converted winger, Jayson Bukuya as the scoreline blew out to 28-16. The Sharks join the scrum of teams on 30 points now, as everyone jostles for the top four.

For the Cowboys, they are well and truly at the bottom of the table, sinking below the Eels once more on differential. They have two matches left to hopefully send Thurston out on a high and not with an extra wooden utensil in his luggage.

3. Valentine Holmes

2. Chad Townsend

1. Scott Bolton