It was not the best performance from the Cronulla Sharks but they did enough to defeat a poor Wests Tigers outfit 30-4 at home.
The Tigers, who were forced to shift Starford To’a to fullback after Daine Laurie was forced out with Covid, had a tough start.
To’a especially, who dropped a bomb, which immediately led to points for the Sharks.
Toby Rudolf was on hand to scoop up the loose ball and found Briton Nikora on the inside to score underneath the posts.
Things only went downhill for the Tigers, who conceded a second try soon after.
A nice short-side play down the right saw Matt Moylan and Jesse Ramien combine for their winger Sione Katoa to cruise over the line with ease.
Nicho Hynes then produced a stellar cut-out pass on the right to Ramien, who was once again able to find Katoa on his outside to score his second.
The Sharks were cruising at 14-0 at halftime and looked to pile more pressure onto a Tigers side struggling in form and confidence.
A shift down the left this time saw Moylan, Will Kennedy, and Siosifa Talakai score, allowing Ronaldo Mulitalo to score on the left edge.
The right edge of the Sharks proved on-song again, this time Ramien did it all himself to score, carrying several defenders over the line in the process.
Hynes then showed some lovely shape at the line to put Cameron McInnes through a gap as he dummied to Hynes and found Kennedy on his outside to score.
The Tigers would not be held scoreless as Ken Maumalo intercepted a Mulitalo pass in the dying seconds to score their first and only try.
Tigers coach Michael Maguire said his side failed to capitalise on a few chances and were ultimately outdone by a superior outfit.
“We didn’t get the rewards early and we lost our way a little bit,” Maguire said.
“They were able to play a pretty strategic game, Cronulla.”
Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon says his side’s attitude is good but that their execution still needs improving.
“Our attitude was spot on but execution’s been a bit of an issue for us over a number of weeks,” Fitzgibbon said.
Cronulla Sharks 30 (Katoa 2, Nikora, Mulitalo, Ramien Kennedy; Goals: Hynes 3) def. Wests Tigers 4 (Maumalo).
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Jesse Ramien (CRO)
2. Nicho Hynes (CRO)
1. Cameron McInnes (CRO)