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Tarsha Gale a shining light in 2nd round disappointment for Jnr Sharks

They both had their chances, however in the end it was two wins for the Eels against the Sharks in the round two SG Ball and Matthews Cup matches played at PointsBet Stadium on Saturday.


In the under-17 Matthews Cup match the Sharks trailed 24-4, fought back to be behind by just four points, before two late Parramatta tries saw the visitors claim a 34-20 victory.


In the under-19 SG Ball match to follow, the Sharks would score with their first possession, the teams then traded tries to go to half time locked up at 10-all, however it would be the Eels to finish the strongest in recording a 28-18 win.


Despite the two disappointing results, there was still plenty to like about the two performances against a highly rated opposition.


"While disappointing to lose, there were still some positive to come out it," Sharks Matthews Cup coach Brad Kelly said.


"The fact they didn't give up, they were down 24-4 and still remained pretty positive and had belief they could come back, that was one pleasing thing to see.


"I was glad they had a bit of grit."


The Eels began the game on the front foot, four converted tries pushing them out to a commanding 24-4 advantage.


Two smart tries, the first by fullback Oliver Lester from a well-worked backline move, the second to Elijah Cooper running onto a well-timed pass from five-eighth Callum Grantham, and the Sharks went to the break trailing 24-16 but with the belief they could mount a second-half comeback.


That confidence was enhanced when Jaylan Herron touched down in winning the race to a Lester grubber kick, but that would be as close as the Sharks would get, the Eels weathering the storm and scoring twice late to confirm the win.


"In the second half we came out really well and were looking like we were coming over the top of them, but a couple of errors and a couple of decisions didn't go our way and we got punished," Kelly added.


"That's part of learning at this age, to maintain pressure and to stick to game plans. There

were areas where we did and periods were we didn't."


In the SG Ball the Sharks were on the scoreboard in the opening minute when Albert Litisoni finished off a move started by centre Michael Gabrael. The Sharks scored a second try through Jasper Catton, who hit a hole and scampered 30-metres to score, with the teams going to half time level at 10-all.


The Sharks gained the ascendancy with two second-half four pointers, the first to Nikora Williams with a determined charge from close range, the second when backrower Pharrell Gray won the race to an Ashton Simmonds kick and at 18-10 it was the Sharks on top.


From there though the Eels regrouped and would dominate the final quarter of the contest, three converted tries in the final 20 minutes rounding out a 28-18 victory.


"Our effort was there again, we had some good patches, but we didn't play the footy we wanted to play for long enough periods to get the result,” Sharks SG Ball coach Dave Howlett said.  


"The boys are a work in progress, we know what we are capable of, we just need to get back to training and work hard to translate that into a 70-minute performance next week."


See links below to photo galleries from all the Round 2 Sharks games against the Eels thanks to Cronulla JRL Photographer - Adam Wrightson.


Defensive steel was on show from the junior Sharks women against the Eels on Saturday, with the Tarsha Gale team staying unbeaten after two rounds and the Lisa Fiaola side on the cusp of victory.


Having recorded a tight win over Wests Tigers last week, the under-19 Tarsha Gale Sharks crossed for five tries as they beat Parramatta 22-6 at PointsBet Stadium.


It was a performance built on determination and grit as Cronulla held firm in the early stages with the Eels peppering their goal-line.


Similarly, the under-17 Lisa Fiaola girls were made to do a mountain of work without the ball and didn't shy away from the challenge, going into half-time down 6-0 but fighting right until the end in a gallant 12-4 defeat.


Tarsha Gale coach Isaac Michael was delighted with his squad's effort to remain one of six undefeated teams after two matches.


"It was a really good performance, especially defensively," Michael said.


"Early in the game we had to defend our line repeatedly, so it was really good to see the girls kept turning up for each other and put in those efforts to turn them away. I think that set the tone for us for the rest of the game.


"We had some really good attack. We identified where we wanted to go and the halves did really well in distributing the ball and getting it to where we needed to."


Powerful second-rower Manilita Takapautolo was again a standout, scoring a double to go with her match-sealing try against the Eels.


Meanwhile, Lisa Fiaola coach Robbie Taylor couldn't fault the spirit of his girls, who have only lost by a combined 10 points in their two starts.


"I'm pretty proud of how they went in defence. We probably held a few tries out which is good. They worked hard," Taylor said.


"I'm proud of how they defended, especially on our line. We did a lot of work in pre-season around our defence. We aimed up again today.


"We'll just continue doing that into next round and look for that win."


Both Sharks girls teams play at home in round three, with a Lisa Fiaola match against the Central Coast Roosters and a Tarsha Gale clash with the Raiders.


Round 2 Results

Lisa Fiaola Cup - Sharks 4 lost to Parramatta 12

Tarsha Gale Cup Cup - Sharks 22 defeated Parramatta 6

Harold Matthews Cup - Sharks 20 lost to Parramatta 34

SG Ball Cup - Sharks 18 lost to Parramatta 28


See links below to photo galleries from all the Round 2 Sharks games against the Eels 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 2 - Sharks vs Parramatta



View the full gallery of photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/h4wXcufrArmfhoPb9


Tarsha Gale Cup - Round 2 - Sharks vs Parramatta



View the full gallery of photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/6BtWDZAmhxNRGih88


Harold Matthews Cup - Round 2 - Sharks vs Parramatta



View the full gallery of photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/i3gcNEW3P2VKiGy27


SG Ball Cup - Round 2 - Sharks vs Parramatta



View the full gallery of photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ie26cUSwFBKbk2Sa7

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