Dramatic golden point victory for Thirds as Wray nails it for Reserves

It took the youngest player on field to break the NRLWA Val Murphy grand final deadlock on Saturday as the reigning premiers Rockingham Sharks retained their crown with a dramatic golden point kick.

It was the first of a unique treble for the club, as they also won the reserve grade premiership and the NRLWA’s fastest man competition.

The Val Murphy third graders had to battle with 12 men for much of the second half after forward Yuri Taipeti was sent off for an alleged punch in the 52nd minute as opponents Alkimos Tigers went hunting for their first ever club premiership.

And it all came down to a kick 12 minutes into extra time from Eric Koroa, aged just 17, to win the game.

Koroa had earlier missed a couple of goal attempts before slotting the winning point as the Sharks fought off the challenge of their northern beaches opposition.

Blair Wilson and Koroa had earlier scored, with three conversions from coach Matty Pora, as both teams ended normal time locked up at 16-all.

Then the drama began – first Koroa tried – and missed. Alkimos then had a dig from 40 metres out as the ball sailed wide of the uprights.

Koroa tried again before, in the third five-minute golden point period, found the length and the direction to earn the Sharks victory.

“Just doing my job,” the quiet teenager said, after the game, enjoying a soft drink.

Then it was the turn of the reserve grade – in another close encounter.

Down 10-0 after 20 minutes the Sharks fought back to 10-all at halftime, thanks to tries from Ed Taihini and Joel Draper.

The second half belonged to game MVP Jack Wray, who’s kicking game kept opponents North Beach Sea Eagles pinned deep in their half. A 40-20 kick the highlight of a masterful performance.

With 15 minutes to go, his high bomb to the right-hand corner was caught by a leaping Robbie Smith for the fullback to secure the victory.

But there was more to come… Smith went back on the field 10 minutes after the game to become the NRLWA’s fastest man in the inaugural foot race.

Smiling, with young son in his arms after the double success, Smith put in simply: “all in a day’s work.”

What a day’s work for the Rockingham Sharks  – double premiers for 2019.


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