Rusty Sharks still bite Bears in first hit-out of the year
Rockingham Sharks opened their 2018 campaign with a solid 44-10 win over the Willagee Bears in their first pre-season hit-out of the year.
Both teams were missing players and both looked rusty as the penalty count climbed but coach Darren Shaw was philosophical in his after-match thoughts, saying the win was good, but there was “plenty of work to be done” before round 1 against Fremantle on April 7.
“We made a lot of mistakes and our completion rate was poor, but it is still pre-season,” Shaw said.
“We’ll work on that and I know we will get much better.”
Club skipper Reece Potter was the only casualty of the day, suffering an Achilles injury that could see him out for the season.
Man of the match was Tevita Pomale, who returned to the club and scored an impressive hat-trick, closely followed by new half Jack Wray, who kicked six from eight and showed promising signs of being a dominant leader.
A swirling lofty kick on the last tackle from Wray was grabbed by Pomale for the opening try of the day after just three minutes and Wray then kicked the goal to make it six before Ezra Taomia’s surging run set up the home side 10m out four minutes later.
Pomale added his second and the Sharks were looking comfortable.
When Taomia barged over minutes later, Wray added the extras and the home side were 16-0 to the good. But a poor line kick-out handed the Bears possession and a try out wide as both sides traded mistakes and sloppy penalties.
Wray’s sublime pass to Jules Wilson-Wyllie extended the lead and the kick made it 22-6 at the break.
Lock Anthony Bowman put in a superb shift all day and his 25m run broke the Bears early in the second half to extend the lead.
Josh Neal then broke the crash-over before Pomale added a third with a storming 45m run after hooker Andrew Jefferies had cleverly picked up a loose Bears ball.
Wray kicked his fifth of the afternoon and the Sharks were cruising at 38-10.
A sublime 50m penalty kick from the young half put the Sharks within sniffing distance of the line with three minutes left and Carlo Trego barged over from 5m out.
The kick was good and the Sharks ended their day deserved winners.
Meanwhile, the reserves had a resounding 58-4 win over the Bears in their trial game.
The Sharks face Joondalup Giants in their final pre-season hit-out next Saturday at Franklin Offshore Sportsplex, with all three grades set to play.
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