SG Ball Rnd 1 - Sharks vs Raiders
In the final game of the day on the road in Canberra, the Sharks SG Ball team almost pulled off a miraculous come from behind victory against the Raiders but came up just short losing 28-24 in an exciting first-round match.
In the first half the Sharks appeared to be lacking their usual spark. Dropped balls and other errors were hampering the boys from finding any rhythm and continued to put them under pressure.
The Canberra half-back was a handful all day and caused problems for the Sharks every time he had the ball in his hands.
Despite nothing going their way the Sharks went into the half-time break only 8-0 down.
The half-time break helped the Sharks and from the kick-off and elusive Kade Dykes skipped through a number of defenders and breaking tackles before offloading to his winger Sam Stonestreet who scored under the posts to put the Sharks within 2 points.
Off the following kick-off Canberra made another error and the Sharks were set to take advantage before a cheap turn-over combined with an elusive back line manoeuvre instead saw Canberra go 80m to score under the posts despite a gallant attempt by Sam Stonestreet to stop the try scorer close to the goal line.
A successful conversion once again saw the Raiders get back out to an 8-point lead. In short succession the Raiders scored again, and the game was seemingly slipping away from the Sharks who now trailed 20-6.
Just before the second half drinks break the Sharks were able to hit back when Will Abou-Arrage muscled his way over to keep the Sharks in touch at 20-12.
Momentum was starting to shift towards the Sharks when Kobie Wilson reached out to score under the black-dot and all of sudden there was only 2 points in it and the Sharks were eyeing off what earlier appeared to be an unlikely win.
With less than 10 minutes to play the Sharks broke the line and Kobe Wilson combined with a flying Kade Dykes to outrun chasing defenders to score under the posts and put the Sharks in front for the first time in the match.
Kade Dykes has been training with the NRL squad for past few weeks and this experience was paying dividends today with the Raiders finding him hard to contain all day.
Now leading 24-20 the Sharks had made an impressive comeback, but it appeared to reawaken a determined Raiders outfit. The Sharks lead would be short lived with the Raiders crashing over beside the posts to take back the lead 26-24 with only 5 minutes left in the match.
In the dying minutes of the game the Sharks had a chance to steal victory when a grubber was put through under the posts for a flying Josh Finau who was unable to ground the ball.
As the sharks tried to hold out the Raiders close to full time an indiscretion close to the try line resulted in a penalty and the Raiders closed out the game with a goal defeating the Sharks 28-24 and leaving the Sharks to contemplate what might have been.
Don't forget to visit ourfootyteam.com and sharks.com.au for all of the results, competition ladders, more photos as well as to stay up to date with all the latest news about the Sharks and Sharks junior representative teams.
Story & Pictures: Adam Wrightson
For high resolution photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/yrGzsNAcMjtZF7XB9
Round 1 - Team List
Te Wehi Waitere
Cody Fuz (c)
Blake Hosking Interchange