It was a game that had everything. Hard hits, great runs, smart play and, most importantly – at least for Cronulla Sharks fans – a last-gasp win at the death, after prop Andrew Fifita pounced on a grubber and won the game for the club.
It was a brilliant display of pace by the prop – something none of us were perhaps expecting – but it was enough to win, as Fifita’s try gave the Sharks the win and keeps them in the eight and a slight chance at the top four.
It was the Dragons with all the early running, however, as they raced out to an 18-6 lead with Brett Morris and Jason Nightingale the two key players for them.
With improvement needed as the finals draw nearer and nearer, the Sharks will want to improve their error-rate and completion rate, as their mistakes went up to 17 in total.
Fifita, whose late heroics won them the game, said he just went for it, stuck his head down and hoped for the best and that he would reach the ball Semenax first.
“I just kicked it and hoped for the best,” Fifita said of his late try.
“I saw Nightingale, I thought I was going to get burned, but I never gave up and got there in the end.”
Although Shane Flanagan was pleased with his side’s win, he was still left disappointed by some of their poor play.
“Probably after last week (against Newcastle) losing in the last minute and then tonight winning – if there’s a football god out there it all evened up,” Flanagan said.
“I don’t know if I’m happy or a little numb.
“We were awful with the ball. We gifted the Dragons field position, gifted them points.”
A loss like that is tough for any coach or club and for Dragons coach Steve Price, he admits it was a tough pill to swallow.
“The footy gods weren’t on our side tonight,” he said.
“We were clearly the better team for the game I thought, that lucky try right at the death, it’s tough to take.”
3. Brett Morris
2. Andrew Fifita
1. Michael Gordon