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Cronulla power to victory over Auckland

May 2013

Henson Park, Marrickville,

New South Wales

by Jodie Newell

The Cronulla Sharks remain unbeaten for another week after defeating the Auckland Vulcans by 38 points in round 8 of the VB NSW Cup played at Henson Park. The Sharks were in control for most part of the game, except for the first ten minutes when a Konrad Hurell led attack created problems for the Sharks defensive game. The win was all the more impressive for Cronulla as key players in Brett Finch and Maurice Blair were included in the Melbourne Storm side that went down in the shock result to the Canberra Raiders on Saturday night at AAMi stadium.

“We were able to snap into our rhythm and complete our sets. We didn't panic which was good”

- Cronulla Sharks coach Tony Herman

It was Auckland with their strong forward pack and bigger body mass that troubled the Cronulla D in the first five minutes of the match. The big unit of Konrad Hurrell was making sure his tank-like, physical prowess would be applied to the max as he charged over the try line for the first score of the game. Vulcans half-back Harry Siejka made a beautifully converted kick to gain the extras and the lead, 6-0.

The Sharks class quickly rose to the top as they responded to the intense physical pressure the Vulcans were applying. One of the keys to the success of the Cronulla side this season is their ability to score quickly via finesse passes and quick plays at the ball.

Cronulla half back Chad Townsend’s sure hands and read of the play gave his wingers plenty of opportunities to trouble the Auckland defensive lines. Townsend also made some superb dummy runs that gave his side excellent field position. The Sharks first try of the match came when Tyrone Peachey planted the ball into the Henson park turf after connecting with a deft chip kick.

Chad Townsend converted and scores were tied at 6-6.

Tyrone Peachey’s excellent 2013 season form continued when he offloaded the ball to Tupou Sopoaga who notched up the Sharks second try of the match. Townsend again converted and the lead was Crounulla’s 12-6.

Auckland winger Zoram Watnene tried to make headway into Cronulla territory, but Sharks players in Daniel Moroko and Matthew Wright made sure no-one from the Vulcans was getting through. 

Thanks to a superb run which gained packets of metres by Tony Gigot, he passed the ball to Pat Politoni who scored a try right under the posts. Chad Townsend converted the easy “soda” try. Sharks 18-6.

Pat Politoni would soon be involved again when he benefitted from poor handling fro the Auckland Vulcans. Politoni scored his second try of the game. Chad Townsend definitely had his kicking boots on and again added the extras. Sharks 24-6.

Auckland coach Willie Swan would have been alarmed at the pressure the Sharks were applying to his side who seemed to have no answers to the relentless cycle of set completions and a long kicking game.

It began to rain tries for the Sharks with Tyrone Peachey, Chad Townsend, Matthew Wright and Tony Gigot all scoring tries on the back of some superb rugby league play. The Cronulla Sharks are playing an irresistible brand of footy at the moment and are definitely worth checking out if you love your league.

Auckland to their credit, never dropped their heads and were able to score a late consolation try via Harry Siejka, who was unable to convert. The Sharks ran out winners by 38 points 48-10. 

After the match Sharks coach Tony Herman told NMG Sports that after a patchy start his side quickly swung into gear “ I thought we gave them (Auckland) some cheap ball, but then we were able to snap into our rhythm and complete our sets. We didn't panic which was good”

The Sharks have a very short turnaround and will play on Wednesday night at 5.30pm against Manly at Leichhardt Oval. The match is a rescheduled fixture that was cancelled due to heavy rains of a couple of weeks ago.

Chad Townsend cops a classic “Don’t Argue” fend during the match against the Auckland Vulcans played at Henson Park.

image: 2013 NewellMediaGroup

Final score:  Cronulla Sharks 48 defeated Auckland Vulcans 10

Tries: Sharks P Politoni 2, T Peachey 2, T Sopoaga, C Townsend, M Wright, T Gigot

Tries: Vulcans : K Hurrell, H Siejka

Conversions: Sharks :  C Townsend 8

Conversions: Vulcans : H Siejka

Referee: Lawrence McDonnell

Touch Judges :  Richard Daizli   Peter Sciberras

At Henson Park

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