Sharks’ youngsters step up in big victory over Giants
Rockingham Sharks coach Darren Shaw praised his patched-up young side for a tremendous team effort on Saturday as they grabbed both points in round 4 of the NRLWA Premiership to defeat the Joondalup Giants 40-16.
Missing several first-team players, the youngsters who stepped up really earned their spurs as the Sharks made good use of possession to play some very good football against a big Giants’ forward pack.
“I wasn’t sure who I had to select a couple of days ago,” Shaw said.
“We’ve got a few injuries, but those who I called on, and the kids from our reserves really did the club proud.”
The Sharks could have opened the scoring in the second minute when winger Tom Halliday saw his effort knocked back but six minutes later they got the first points when Connor Hudson crossed.
In a swift move, the ball was pushed across the park from right to left that opened holes in the stretched Joondalup defence. Hudson, playing at full-back, found the right hole to blow through and the Sharks were on their way.
But the lead was short-lived. Four minutes later the Giants capitalised on a Rockingham mistake to cross and level the game.
The visitors had to defend for long periods as the home side pushed for another score but half-back Jack Wray’s clever pass to Anthony Bowman broke the line for the Sharks to regain the advantage.
With Wray’s kick good, the Sharks led again but the Giants came charging back and levelled it up on 22 minutes.
Anyone’s game? On another day perhaps, but when the Sharks attack combinations click they can be deadly.
A man down to a professional foul, the Giants were struggling to keep up.
Wray’s clever grubber kick was fumbled by a defender for centre Logan Barclay to pick up and score. The conversion was good and the Sharks led once more.
The Giants then gifted the visitors great field position with a kickoff that went out on the full and a Bowman kick through from 40 metres out saw centre Tevita Pomale score his first of two tries for day, beating the defender in a chase to touch down.
Wray’s kick was good and the Sharks led 22-10 at the break.
Hudson grabbed his second of the game six minutes into the second half after a superb Tevita Pomale break.
When Andrew Jeffery’s superbly weighted grubber kick from 20m out on the hour saw Bowman beat his man to the ball, the Sharks looked home and dry.
A try and conversion got the Sharks back to within a three-try game.
They pushed and probed but the Sharks stood firm and, with four minutes left, the men in black killed the game off when Pomale went over in the corner.
“There was a great team spirit out there,” Shaw said.
“I’m very happy, we’ve got a good squad here and we will improve.”
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails