Cronulla Sharks maul hapless Saints
Sharks 40 def St George Illawarra 4
Monday Night football appears to be a huge success for the NRL in season 2007 with a massive Rugby League crowd turning up at Shark Park (19,500) to see the Sharks finally play some impressive, controlled football against their neighbours the St George Illawarra Dragons.
With St George Illawarra having the usual 1million+ in playing talent on the sidelines, it was an opportune time for the Sharks to strike and strike they did.
Cronulla braved the early forward onslaught from the Saints, and won the battle of the play the ball to keep a nice roll happening on down field plays. The Dragons simply dropped too much ball and at times look disinterested in the game.
Kimmorley was looking his old self with some beautifully selected cut out passes and was busy for most of the night. Out wider Pommeroy was elusive in attack and bagged a double and Kearny scored his first ever hat-trick as he trailed the play all night waiting for any second phase opportunities.
It looked to be a slick and well prepared game plan from the Stuart coached Sharks – as they worked Greg Bird down the fringes beautifully. It seemed that whenever the Morris boys got the ball the Sharks swarmed and closed any attacking play down; on several occasions jutting the ball loose.
Overall, the possession stat simply killed any chance the Saints had of getting into the game. The Dragons had a 39% overall possession amount and this will prevent any team winning a match in modern day Rugby League – to compound this, 70% of the small amount of possession they did have was within their own half.
Nathan Brown couldn’t hide his frustration at the press conference, raising the point that many of his young chargers simply don’t realise what is required week in, week out to actually win an NRL match. The Dragon forwards aren’t allowing enough room for their backline to weave any magic and it seems everyone is waiting for Hornby to pull off the impossible.
Full credit to the eager Sharks – they move to 4 competition points and face the winless Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium next weekend; which will have them confident of putting back to back wins together.
Cronulla Sharks 40 (Brett Kearney 3, Ben Pomeroy 2, David Simmons, Fraser Andersen tries; Luke Covell 6 goals)
St George-Illawarra Dragons 4 (Josh Morris try)
NRL News Monday Night Rugby League