Bears drubbing tunes ups Sharks for Roosters clash
“Scrappy and victorious” was how coach Darren Shaw described Rockingham Sharks’ 58-16 victory over Willagee Bears on Saturday — a workmanlike audition for this weekend’s top-of-the-ladder showdown with Fremantle Roosters in WA’s Smarter than Smoking Premiership.
“We played very well in patches but need to step-up the intensity if we are to be a real challenger,” Shaw said after the Sharks had scored nine tries to three against a spirited Bears outfit.
The home side struggled to play out their sets for periods in the second half, completing only 56 per cent, but still found the tryline with some scintillating rugby late on.
Half-back Anthony Bowman, in his final game for the club before returning to Britain, scored two and set up two more in a man-of-the-match display as the Sharks always looked in command.
Bowman opened the scoring after eight minutes, cutting through a hole on the left edge after forward Ricky Hayes had done the hard yards through the middle.
Jack Wray kicked the extras and the Sharks were on their way.
But Willagee are no pushovers and kept showing up all evening.
They got their first try four minutes later with a clever out-wide play and run from their winger before Bowman added his second.
Centre Logan Barclay showed why he has been called up for the State side with a great performance, scoring the first of his tries after 15 minutes and winger Tom Halliday squeezed over in the far corner to add more points.
A late “flopping” tackle had a Willagee player sin-binned as the Sharks went in search of more points.
Those came right on the siren, with Barclay grabbing his second after the Sharks had made good ground courtesy of a penalty.
With Wray’s kick good, the home side led 24-10 at the break.
Who scored next, as the second half unfolded would probably decide the game — and it was Josh Jerome, off the bench, who grabbed the first of his double for the afternoon, with a smart inside run from 10m out to cross.
The Sharks’ scrappy play early in the second half let the Bears back in with another try before some surging runs from dummy half by Andrew Jeffery settled home fans’ nerves and then the floodgates opened.
The Sharks will have to step up their completion rates for Fremantle on Saturday but with two more points in the bag, Shaw was a happy man.
“We got the job done and we’ll be working on tightening up a few things for next week,” he said.
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