Winning in Townsville is never easy but the Cronulla Sharks have coasted to victory over the North Queensland Cowboys.
In the end, it was a no contest as the Sharks ran out comfortable 42-16 winners.
The loss was marred by two key injuries for the Sharks, though; a rib cartilage injury for Paul Gallen and a hamstring injury for Matt Moylan.
As both sides struggled to assert any dominance in the first half, they went back and forth, unable to score.
Two Cowboys tries were denied; one for offside and the other for a knock-on.
The Sharks turned the momentum around and their pressure after four repeat sets proved telling.
Chad Townsend the scorer after good lead-up play from Gallen and fellow forward Andrew Fifita.
The game turned once again as the Cowboys began to get more possession and they were rewarded.
Michael Morgan and Jordan McLean combined for the hulking forward to power his way over.
The Cowboys would then take the lead when a spilt ball from the Sharks saw Te Maire Martin put his side up 10-6.
The game then favoured the Sharks who grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and ran away with the game.
Briton Nikora got his name to the scoresheet off a Shaun Johnson grubber and Josh Dugan powered over from close range.
In the end, Townsend and Josh Morris nabbed doubles in the comprehensive win.
Although the extent of the injuries to Gallen and Moylan are unknown yet, scans will reveal just how bad they are.
“It might be a bit early at this stage, they can be quite painful,” said Sharks coach John Morris.
“He [Gallen] felt he popped it, we’ll have to get a scan on it and see how he goes.
But he’s one of about three or four that had to leave the field.”
With Gallen surpassing Andrew Ettinghausen’s club record for most games, the man himself did not want much fanfare made of it.
“It was a big week for the club, he didn’t really want anything done, he didn’t want any fuss around getting ready for the game but we acknowledged it last night internally with the team,” Morris said.
“His dad presented the jersey to him today so it was a big game for him.”
For Green, the answer to bucking their fortunes is simple. They need to knuckle down and show more resilience.
“We need to get down to some hard work and be prepared to play for 80 minutes and show a little bit more resilience when something goes against us,” Green said.
NRL News Player of the Year
3. Shaun Johnson
2. Chad Townsend
- Josh Dugan