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Matthew Cup Sharks win one-point thriller as other junior Sharks fall short

Callum Grantham's clutch field goal at the death delivered the Sharks a pulsating 19-18 win over the Raiders in the Harold Matthews Cup on Saturday - the club's only junior reps victory across round three.


Trailing 12-0 after 13 minutes, the under-17 Cronulla boys displayed great heart at PointsBet Stadium to hang tough and come away with the spoils in a scrappy game.


Unfortunately, the SG Ball Sharks went down 34-18 to Canberra. Earlier, the Lisa Fiaola women's team suffered a 36-6 defeat to the Central Coast Roosters and the previously unbeaten Tarsha Gale side were knocked off 16-10 by the Raiders.



Harold Matthews coach Brad Kelly admitted it was stressful watching an error-riddled match but praised his troops' grittiness to stay in the contest.


"The heat and the slipperiness of the ball was a big factor. A lot of handling errors, a lot of dropped catches," Kelly said after his team improved to a 2-1 record.


"But as I said to the boys, the pleasing thing was they were resilient enough to hang in there. They were down on the scoreboard and they fought back into the game.


"We were lucky we were able to hold our composure at the end. We came up with two big plays - a one-on-one steal and then a drop-goal - to get the win."


The Sharks led 18-12 when Oliver Lester scored a converted try in the 44th minute, but Canberra quickly hit back and nailed a sideline goal to level the scores.


Ultimately, the boot of Grantham was decisive, with the Cronulla five-eighth landing a close-range field goal in the 58th minute to go with his three conversions.


In the SG Ball, the under-19 Sharks men were blown away early as Canberra bounded to an 18-0 lead after little more than 20 minutes. They never got within 12 points of the Raiders, leaving them with a 1-2 record.


Despite tasting defeat for the first time in 2024, Tarsha Gale coach Isaac Michael was delighted with what his under-19 charges served up.


"Our word is 'persistence' and we want to play for the full 60 (minutes)," he said.


"In the conditions - (it was) a really hot game, the Raiders are a fit team, they kept coming the whole game - I think we did our best to try and match them.


"In those close games sometimes it just doesn't go your way, but I can't fault their effort at all. I thought it was a really good performance."


Meanwhile, Lisa Fiaola coach Robbie Taylor described the under-17 women's match against the Central Coast Roosters as a "hard day at the office".


"Very tough game. We just lacked energy. We looked lethargic," Taylor said.


"We weren't in the game at all. We just couldn't complete sets. Again, the same story, we just handed too much ball over. We needed to complete and just didn't.


"We can't be competitive if we don't have the ball."



Round 3 Results

Lisa Fiaola Cup - Sharks 6 lost to Central Coast Roosters 36

Tarsha Gale Cup Cup - Sharks 10 lost to Canberra 16

Harold Matthews Cup - Sharks 19 defeated Canberra 18

SG Ball Cup - Sharks 18 lost to Canberra 34


See links below to photo galleries from all the Round 3 Sharks games against the Central Coast Roosters and Canberra Raiders thanks to Cronulla JRL Photographer - Adam Wrightson.


Remember to follow the Cronulla JRL website and social media channels for all the action and excitement from the 2024 NSWRL junior representative season.


Lisa Fiaola Cup - Round 3 - Sharks vs Central Coast Roosters



View the full gallery of photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/xvWWYp2yUKc57nBy8


Tarsha Gale Cup - Round 3 - Sharks vs Canberra



View the full gallery of photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/g54HCJxxQ29eW2FB8


Harold Matthews Cup - Round 3 - Sharks vs Canberra



View the full gallery of photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/RPyJmHdjTBrMqKLVA


SG Ball Cup - Round 3 - Sharks vs Canberra



View the full gallery of photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/apz1J3bwV2HLQoUY9

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