Sharks Mathews Cup start season with a win over Steelers
Updated: Feb 12
The Matthews Cup Sharks have started their 2022 season in impressive fashion with a 30-10 victory over the Illawarra Steelers in their round one clash at PointsBet Stadium.
The Sharks scored six tries to two in the win, back rower Jasper Catton crossing three times and named player’s player in a match where the home side squandered a 10-0 first half lead, before running away with the contest in the second period.
Sharks coach Brad Kelly was pleased his team was able to respond following the break after giving up their early advantage.
“We were probably the dominant side in the first half but didn’t do ourselves any favours with too many errors, too many penalties,” Kelly said. “But very pleased with the second half. I thought we controlled the game, kicked a lot better and we got the two points which is a good way to start the year.”
The Sharks were on the board early, Catton slicing through off a clever short ball from five eighth Ashton Simmonds before beating the fullback and running 25 metres to score.
Skipper Chevy Stewart added the extras and the Sharks had a 6-0 lead just three minutes into the match.
They would add to their advantage soon after, Catton diving over from close range for a second four pointer and at 10-0 the Sharks were well on top.
The Steelers worked their way back into the contest and after a Sharks sin-binning for a professional foul, would score twice in the last five minutes of the half as the teams went to the break locked at 10-apiece.
With the wind at their backs and Simmonds and half back Bryce Sait kicking intelligently, the Sharks moved back into strong field position and it was fullback Stewart creating space for his outside men, winger Will Stewart sliding over in the north-eastern corner of PointsBet Stadium.
The conversion attempt was wide but the Sharks had their noses back in front at 14-10.
The Sharks then drove home their ascendency, Catton scoring his third, Stewart converting to make it 20-10, before Lachlan Araullo crashed through to extend his teams lead.
Stewart scored the final try of the match with some good evasion out wide in sealing the result for the young Cronulla side.
Catton deservedly received the votes from teammates as the Sharks best, however he had plenty of willing helpers, with Stewart at the back, centres Albert Litisoni and Jayze Tuigamala hard to handle, hooker Blake Woodger was sharp at dummy half, while middle forwards Araullo, Jai Davies and Alex Challenor did the hard work in controlling the middle of the field.
The under-17 Matthews Cup Sharks now move on to a round two away match against the Penrith Panthers next Saturday.
SHARKS 30 Jasper Catton 3, Lachlan Araullo, Will Stewart, Chevy Stewart tries, Chevy Stewart 3 goals defeated ILLAWARRA 10
See the Cronulla JRL action gallery from the match below.
Pictures: Adam Wrightson
Want to download pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/q43wBgFw8hrCFYME6
Round 1 - Team List
Chevy Stewart ©
Alex Challenor Interchange