Sharks 44 Rabbitohs 14
ROCKINGHAM Sharks turned pre-game predictions on their head with an emphatic 44-14 win over the Ellenbrook Sharks on Saturday in Round 3 of the Smarter Than Smoking NRLWA Premiership.
The Sharks, who had been written off on Friday night’s League Talk radio show, won all four grades at Charlotte’s Vineyard, with the WLT winning 20-10, Val Murphy cruising to a great 36-4 victory and the reserves notching a remarkable 19-18 win, thanks to a 40m field goal from John Taituha with barely 10 seconds left on the clock.
So it was left to a reshaped Sharks first grade side to complete a perfect day – and they didn’t disappoint.
After slugging it out at both ends for 20 minutes, the Sharks were first on the scoreboard as five eighth Rob Smith grabbed his first of four tries.
Andrew Jeffery gathered Smith’s kick and passed back to the livewire halfback to race through to score.
Jack Wray, returning to the side, kicked the extras, and the Sharks were on their way.
When Ellenbrook captain-coach Jarek Goebel left the field with an ankle injury, the nags went from bad to worse for the Bunnies as the visitors gave them no time to settle.
Dominating ruck play, the Sharks forced errors as the home side struggled to put together their sets.
Smith added another minutes later after a Wray chip kick and the men from the south were in complete control.
Mikey Heather was next fin the scoresheet on the half-hour after a strong run from Luke Hughes in the centres put the Sharks a metre from the line.
Swift ball play left saw Heather cross in the corner before the Rabbitohs got on the board three minutes before the break.
A 16-4 half-time lead was well deserved and extended six minutes in to the second stanza when Hughes, a threat all day, powered his way across to score.
Wray added another two points as the Sharks continued to dominate.
Smith’s pace was a trouble for Ellenbrook all afternoon, and set up by some strong forward running, he grabbed his hat-trick in the 48th minute, carving up the Bunnies’ defensive line to score in the corner.
The Rabbitohs added another minutes later but there was to be no ‘Sco-Mo’ miracle comeback for them – from a line drop-out Jeffery tore a huge hole in their defence for Logan Barclay to score.
Wray’s kick made the score 32-10 and the Rabbit-proof de-fence was well and truly broken. After 10 minutes in the sin-bin, fullback Nathan Hill scored after some clever play from Keiren Crowe before Smith added his fourth with eight minutes left on the clock, with a cheeky sneak to dive across the line after Ricky Hayes had punctured another hole in a tiring Ellenbrook defence.
Wray added the extras from in front of the posts and the Sharks, despite conceding another late try from the home side picked up their first points of the season.
- Nathan HILL
- Josh NEAL
- Luke HUGHES
- Karlo TREGO
- Michael HEATHER
- Robert SMITH
- Jack WRAY
- Damien WORTH
- Andrew JEFFERY
- Julian WILSON WYLLIE
- Ricky HAYES
- Benjamin BOLTH
- Reece POTTER
- Kieren CROWE
- Marcus NGARO
- Richie HICKS
- Charles TANIKOQI