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.
â€œThe first 20 minutes we were OK, but other than that our last 10 minutes before the full time hooter was our next best stage,â€ Bennett said.
â€œThe 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.
â€œI donâ€™t think the game should have been in that (golden-point) situation, as good as Cronulla played in the second half.
â€œThey had 100 per cent ball completion, I donâ€™t think they dropped the ball.â€
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.
â€œThe way we were playing there in the second half, they came out a bit harder than we did,â€ Knights back-rower Chris Houston said.
â€œItâ€™s always a bad way to lose a game in golden point.
â€œWe have players that can swing the momentum a bit, but we just need to do it collectively.”
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