Tarsha Gale Sharks topple the Raiders
The Tarsha Gale Sharks have registered their second win in succession with a 16-6 victory over the Raiders to move within striking distance of a spot in the top six and the competition finals.
With consistent rain showers making the playing conditions challenging at the Sharks Academy Field at Cronulla High School, it was the Sharks who would come out on top, building on a narrow 10-6 half time lead to claim the points.
The Sharks put aside some disruptions in the week leading into the game, with head coach Jono Te Wara absent in Covid quarantine, as Sharks Women's Pathways Coordinator Jack Gould and assistant Tarsha Coach Fine Kula took on the coaching duties in preparing the girls for Saturday's game.
"With Jono being out of action, Jack and Fine did a great job getting the girls ready to play," Sharks Development and Pathways Manager Glenn Brailey said. "The tries they managed to score on the day came from plays they had come up with during the week."
Kylie O'Loughlin, who shared the coaching duties with Gould and Kula, was also pleased the way the Sharks were able to handle the conditions and the adversity they were forced to deal with.
"There was a few mistakes here and there, but the first half was pretty good for us," O'Loughlin said. "There was definitely things we could have improved on, but I just said to the girls to keep their composure, not to panic and to make good decisions around our defense, to not them get on our outside which was where their speed was, and the girls did well.
The win was also saw the Sharks display plenty of character with second half injuries forcing a number of positional changes.
"The second half was marred with quite a few injuries, we were shifting players around quite a bit, that changed the whole structure of our team completely.
"We had our winger playing hooker, we had lots of different players playing different spots because of injuries during the game, then the rain started, so it really tested the coaching group, but we got the win in the end," O'Loughlin added.
The Sharks scored twice in the opening period, through Skye Brennan and Cali Clarke and with Brooke Elliott converting the first four-pointer, against a 16th minute try from the Raiders, and it was anyone's game at 10-6 at the break.
However the Sharks dug in, defended grimly as the heavens opened, with a Sienna Stewart try 20 minutes from fulltime giving them just enough breathing space as they closed out the win.
With the victory the Sharks moved to seventh, level with the fifth and sixth placed Knights and Tigers but sitting outside a spot in the top six on for and against.
Next up for the Sharks is a game against the ladder-leading Roosters Indigenous Academy.
SHARKS 16 Cali Clarke, Skye Brennan, Sienna Stewart tries, Brooke Elliott 2 goals beat RAIDERS 6
Round 7 - Team List
Brooke Elliott Interchange