Brave Matthews Cup Sharks Bow Out
In the Harold Matthews Cup elimination final just a couple of weeks ago our junior Sharks were brave, but in end run not quite good enough, bowing out of title contention as a result of an 18-4 loss to the Eels.
The game was in the balance until the last 10 minutes of the contest with the Eels holding a narrow two-point lead, however a pair of late tries to the Parramatta team sealed the Sharks fate in a match dominated by defence.
A game in which the Sharks certainly had their chances, the loss ends a successful season where the young Cronulla side was competitive throughout while unearthing a number of potential stars of the future.
Although understandably disappointed with the final result, coach Brad Kelly was proud of the commitment shown not just in today’s game but during the entire 2023 season.
“As disappointing as it is to lose, I was really proud of the effort today and overall, in their performance throughout the year,” Kelly said. “I thought the boys really did a good job from start to finish, but unfortunately today just wasn’t their day.
“We had a pretty good chance to win. I thought there were parts of the game where we were coming home over the top of them but we just couldn’t ice our try scoring opportunities in the second half. We didn’t have the polish on the end of sets to come up with some points.
“They took their opportunities and got away with the game.
“They are a good bunch of boys, were a pleasure to coach and I really enjoyed working them,” Kelly added.
It took more than 15 minutes for either side to concede points with the Eels first on the board, touching down adjacent to the posts after a glut of possession on the Sharks line.
The conversion made it 6-0 however the Sharks would respond courtesy of a try out wide to winger Xavier Singh to make it 6-4 Eels, a score which would remain the same until late in the second half.
The last two Eels tries came in the closing moments, the final try just two minutes from fulltime.
The Matts Cup Sharks had finished the season in sixth position following five wins, two losses and a draw.
MATTHEWS CUP SHARKS 4 Xavier Singh try Lost to EELS 18
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Pictures: Adam Wrightson
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