Trial Match Report – Sharks v Tigers

On the back of a sparking first half performance the Sharks have scored a 24-12 trial match victory over the Wests Tigers. 

The Sharks scored five tries to two in the win, four of those tries coming from some impressive back line play in the first half. 

With two wins in their two trial outings the Sharks now look ahead to Townsville and a first round meeting with Jonathan Thurston and the North Queensland Cowboys with a level of confidence. 

The Sharks were on the board early through Ricky Leutele, the centre running a determined line off a Valentine Holmes pass and when Chad Townsend added the extras it was 6-0 Sharks less than five minutes into the contest. 

After withstanding some Tigers pressure on their own try line an error from their opponents gifted  the Sharks field position and on the last play of the set the Sharks would score again, this time with a mixture of good play and good fortune. 

Taking the ball to the line Matt Moylan grubbered, the ball bounced favourably into the hands of Leutele, who flicked a clever pass for Holmes to score. 

Townsend was on target from wide out and it was 12-0 Sharks after 22 minutes of the first half. 

Sione Katoa was denied a try after the young winger collected a Josh Dugan tap-down from a kick shortly after but they wouldn’t be denied some five minutes later, Wade Graham putting through a perfectly weighted kick for Sosaia Feki to score wide out. 

This time Townsend couldn’t convert but with a little over five minutes of the first half remaining the Sharks had a 16-0 lead. 

The Sharks however had more points in them in the first period, Holmes scoring a second on the stroke of half time after slicing through a gap off a perfectly timed Townsend pass. 

Townsend’s kick bounced off the right upright by the Sharks would go to the break up by 20-0. 

The second period began with the Tigers dominating possession as well as field position and after turning them away on a handful of occasions the Sharks finally conceded points, Holmes misjudging a kick and fullback Corey Thompson touching down. 

Taane Milne kicked the conversion from close range and it was 20-6 to the Sharks as coach Shane Flanagan began to make a number of changes. 

Moylan didn’t return for the second half, replaced by Trent Hopkinson, Leutele substituted for Aaron Gray and local product Kurt Dillon coming on in the forwards. Josh Dugan also moved to fullback, Jesse Ramien came on at right centre and Holmes was taken from the field. 

Shortly after Feki was also brought off by Flanagan, replaced by Edrick Lee, with Kurt Capewell filling the back rower position previously occupied by Luke Lewis, Scott Sorensen deputising for Graham. 

A dummy half try by Tigers substitute hooker Pita Godinet, converted by Masters narrowed the margin to just eight points at 20-12 with still 13 minutes to go.   

With a makeshift squad on the field the Shakrs held their nerve, capping off the win when Katoa dived over in the north-western corner of Campbelltown Stadium. 

The Sharks came out of the game with Ava Seumanufanai sporting some ice on a hamstring twinge but otherwise they seemed to come through the game without any major injury concerns. 

Moylan coming off at half time was precautionary, with the Sharks new recruit fit to play round one against the Cowboys. 

SHARKS 24
Valentine Holmes 2, Ricky Leutele, Sosaia Feki, Sione Katoa tries, Chad Townsend 2 goals
beat
TIGERS 12
Corey Thompson, Pita Godinet tries, Esan Masters 2 goals

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