Mathews Cup Sharks tune up for the finals with a win over the Dogs
The Matthews Cup Sharks will head into week one of the competition finals in in a confident frame of mind after scoring a dominant 28-8 victory over the Bulldogs.
In their last hit out before the playoffs, the under-17 Matthews Sharks conceded the first try, an eight pointer after a foul on the Bulldogs scorer, but from there were in control throughout, crossing for five tries in the win.
Captain Chevy Stewart was again one of the best for the Sharks, the young fullback scoring three tries and kicking four goals for a personal tally of 20 points on the day.
After the early hiccup the Sharks went to work and on the back of a run of possession hard-working front rower Jai Davies crashed over and following the Stewart conversion it was 8-6 Bulldogs.
Stewart then exploited lazy marker and goal line defense to put his team ahead with the first of his three tries, before another four-pointer, this time by lock Alex Challenor, pushed the score out to 16-6 Sharks at the half time break.
The young Cronulla side would continue their dominance early in the second period, with Stewart scoring in the 36th and 41st minutes, before taking the Sharks too their off the pedal somewhat as coach Brad Kelly spelled a few players set to play a vital role in their semi final next weekend.
In a positive however over the last 10 minutes of the match the Sharks kept their line intact with their defense repelling numerous attacking raids from their opponents.
The Sharks had plenty of strong performers on the day, with Stewart at the back a standout, halves Ashton Simmonds and Bryce Sait cleverly controlled their team’s attack and the forwards got the better of the Bulldogs pack, with Davies, Lachlan Araullo, bench forward Alex McFadden and Max McCarthy all proving to be a handful.
After finishing the nine-round season in fourth place the Sharks now face the fifth-placed Eels in their sudden-death finals match next weekend.
SHARKS 28 Chevy Stewart 2, Jai Davies, Alex Challenor tries, Stewart 4 goals Beat BULLDOGS 8
See the Cronulla JRL action gallery from the match below.
Bryden Sharp Photography also covered this game. Checkout his website bsphotos.com.au to see more photos from the match. Don't forget to also visit sharks.com.au for more news and photos about the Sharks and Sharks junior representative teams.
Pictures: Adam Wrightson
Want to download pictures? https://photos.app.goo.gl/tBntnJxK2JZ7L9YF6
Round 9 - Team List
Chevy Stewart ©
Alex Challenor Interchange