Their momentum and form continue as the Cronulla Sharks combined speed and power to defeat the Wests Tigers 24-16.
It was the Tigers who came out of the blocks quickest and raced to a 10-2 lead but a three try flurry in the second half saw the Sharks come-from-behind.
With wind and rain affecting the clash, conditions were by no means easy for points.
Opting to take two penalty goals when on the attack to start, the Tigers led 4-2.
With an option for a third, they declined and the gamble paid off with a try.
It was Elijah Taylor who scored from dummy half, throwing a huge dummy pass, before burrowing between Sharks defenders to score.
From there, the game went into a defensive lockdown.
Luke Lewis was forced to leave the field due to concussion before Tigers back-rower Michael Chee-Kam was binned for repeated infringements.
The second half started and it was Val Holmes who put his side in a good position.
Keen to bounce back from a poor first half, a 40m kick return put the Sharks on the attack.
Making the most of the field position a short time later, Paul Gallen carried three defenders over the line to score.
Soon after, Gallen turned provider and Holmes was the scorer.
Running towards the line, Gallen found a steaming Holmes who sliced through a meek Tigers defence and went 90m to score.
The Sharks were not finished, though, as their third try in nine minutes saw Matt Moylan loop a pass over to Edrick Lee.
The winger did the rest and the Sharks had the lead and all the momentum as the game winded down.
The Tigers refused to give in, however, as Brooks and Lawrence combined for the veteran to make the initial break.
Tuimoala Lolohea was then on hand to finish the play off and score a try of his own.
The Sharks would have the final say, though; a try to talented young gun Jesse Ramien who was too big and strong.
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan admits that his side’s performance was rocks and diamonds.
“It was a bit frustrating, in the first half we didn’t have any blocks of possession and couldn’t mount any goal-line pressure,” Flanagan said.
Then we went down there and dropped the ball.”
“In the second half, we played with a bit more composure and put them under pressure to come up with some decent tries.
We needed to respond and did it accordingly. It was always going to be one of those games we needed to just get home.”
With Benji Marshall ruled out pre-game, Josh Reynolds was thrust into the pivot role.
Tigers coach Ivan Cleary admits that he and Brooks will still need to find their feet but backed Reynolds and his halfback to do so.
“[It was their] first go together apart from a few trial games.
“Our ends of sets could definitely improve but give these guys some more time together it’s going to improve.
I’m looking forward to seeing how they go together and what they do together will give a big bearing on how we go against Canberra next week.”
Player of the Game:
3. Paul Gallen
2. Val Holmes
- Matt Prior