Sharks snap four-game losing streak in golden point but at a cost

Andrew Fifita

Amid all of the off-field drams the club continues to face as the ASADA investigation continues, Sharks fans can today celebrate as their side grinded out 21-20 win over the Newcastle Knights, courtesy of a golden point field goal to halfback Jeff Robson.

The win, which will give the Sharks confidence, came at a big cost. That cost? The loss of inspirational lock Paul Gallen for 2-6 weeks, after he suffered suspected medial ligament damage in his knee.

It was a back and forth game with some sloppy parts in the middle, but it was ultimately the Sharks who held on for a much needed win, as they snapped a four-game losing streak.

It was a game that left Knights coach Wayne Bennett rather disappointed, lamenting the way in which his side lost the game.

“The first 20 minutes we were OK, but other than that our last 10 minutes before the full time hooter was our next best stage,” Bennett said.

“The rest of the match there was just a lot of ordinary stuff from us. Not a lot of intensity and not a lot of effort.

“I don’t think the game should have been in that (golden-point) situation, as good as Cronulla played in the second half.

“They had 100 per cent ball completion, I don’t think they dropped the ball.”

There was a moment of controversy, however, in the lead-up to one of the Sharks’ tries.

It came from a kick with replays suggesting that back-rower Wade Graham touched the ball with his fingertips resulting in the ball travelling forward, before Jonathan Wright grounded the ball and claimed a try.

With the on-field referee saying try, the video referee duo could not pinpoint conclusive evidence that Graham had touched it, so the ruling stood.

The loss, which was a tough one to take for the Knights, means they now have to regroup and know when to take the momentum during games.

“The way we were playing there in the second half, they came out a bit harder than we did,” Knights back-rower Chris Houston said.

“It’s always a bad way to lose a game in golden point.

“We have players that can swing the momentum a bit, but we just need to do it collectively.”

3. Andrew Fifita
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