It summed up the Brisbane Broncos season. Leading late on, yet still losing, as the Cronulla Sharks scored three late tries to snatch a win.
The three tries in eight minutes gave the Sharks a 36-26 win at Suncorp Stadium.
It was quite a young Sharks side with Jackson Ferris and Braydon Trindall making their debuts.
The likes of Josh Dugan, Chad Townsend, Jesse Ramien and others all missing.
It would be the Sharks to open the scoring as Ronaldo Mulitalo pounced on a loose pass and ran 60 m to score.
Not to be outdone, Tevita Pangai Jnr showed his offloading prowess to put Herbie Farnworth into space.
Before the next play saw Darius Boyd deliver a pinpoint pass for Kotoni Staggs to slice over.
With a chance to go ahead even further, the Broncos failed to make the most of their chances and it cost them.
The Sharks would instead score, this time through a rampaging Siosifa Talakai off the back of Blayke Brailey’s crafty work.
The Broncos refused to give in, however, and eventually scored through Rhys Kennedy who scored a soft try.
Some quick hands on the left edge then saw the Broncos take the deserved lead.
Anthony Milford found Darius Boyd, who passed to Richard Kennar for the Broncos try to put them in front.
It seemed that the Broncos would go into the break ahead but the Sharks had other ideas.
It was debutant Jackson Ferris who would score with some dancing feet to get around defenders and plant the ball down.
The second half saw resolve from the Broncos and a staunch defensive sequence saw them repel numerous Shark attacks.
It paid off, as Milford and Boyd again combined for Kennar to score his second try of the match.
Boyd would then link up on the right edge, finding Staggs who scored a simple try – his seventh in seven games this year.
With the game on the line and needing the win, the Sharks would have to dig deep and find another gear. They did.
Johnson and Will Kennedy combined on the edge to put Sione Katoa into space as he burrowed over from close range.
Play would then shift to the left edge as Wade Graham put Mulitalo into space who kicked back in-field.
Connor Tracey was there to catch the ball on the fly and give the Sharks the lead once again.
The icing on the cake came when Braden Hamlin-Uele was too strong from close range, giving the Sharks their 36-24 win.
With numerous players in the side with less than 20 games to their belt, Sharks coach John Morris praised his side’s courageness.
“It was certainly one of the most courageous wins at our club that I have been a part of,” Morris said.
“At 26-18 [behind] the boys didn’t lose faith, dug in and found a way to come home strong.
“That is a really crucial two points for us and I am really happy for them.”
Although they were more potent in attack, Broncos coach Anthony Seibold saw the same old errors that contributed to their fadeout.
“In some ways, it is the story of our year,” Seibold said.
The frustrating thing is that we are just not good enough at defending our errors at the moment,” he said.
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Darius Boyd
2. Siosifa Talakai
- Anthony Milford