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Sharks: Oh what a feeling! - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Tue, 10 Apr 2007 10:14:00 GMT
Cronulla-Sutherland re-defined protecting the fort last night after crushing local rivals St George-Illawarra 40-4 at Toyota Park. Sharks halfback Brett Kimmorley let the side expertly, having a hand in a few tries, while fullback Brett Kearney was the star of the show with three tries on the night.

The match is ingrained in Rugby League folklore as one of the toughest, fiercest and most anticipated games on the NRL calendar. But, fans could be forgiven for thinking the game was more like a Monday night training run, as the Cronulla Sharks tore the St George Illawarra Dragons’ defence to shreds in their 40-4 win at Toyota Park.

Reinvigorated Sharks halfback Brett Kimmorley ran St George ragged, having a hand in several of his side’s seven tries to one victory, while fullback Brett Kearney had a field day with a hat trick of tries.

Sharks coach Ricky Stuart was pleased with his side’s performance, saying there was not much his chargers did wrong.

“The stats that I take privately in the box, I haven’t seen many better,” Stuart said in the post match press conference.

“It just all adds up to a terrific result.”

The Sharks onslaught began as early as the sixth minute, when Brett Kimmorley’s chip to the right hand wing was spectacularly collected and grounded by a flying David Simmons, giving the home side a 4-0 lead.

St George reacted and were rewarded with points a few short minutes later. A wonderfully placed Ben Hornby grubber found Josh Morris to level the scores.

However, that’s where the Dragons resistance ended, with the Cronulla outfit raising the tempo of their play and causing plenty of problems in their opponents’ defence.

The first of these problems came midway through the first half. Only 20 metres out, Kearney’s pass out of dummy half found Greg Bird who wriggled and danced his way past two markers, before passing the ball back on the inside for Kearney to score one of the easiest tries of his career.

Four minutes later and the Dragons found themselves further behind. A wonderful passing movement spanning the length of the field stretched the defence, with a delightful cutout pass from Kimmorley to a flying Ben Pomeroy completing the move.

The half time break only provided the Dragons with some temporary relief, as Ricky Stuart’s men had intentions to inflict more pain in the second half.

And pain is exactly what the Dragons received, or to be more exact what Josh Morris received, when he was absolutely pulverised by a fantastic one-on-one tackle by Greg Bird, which dislodged the ball.

From there, the Sharks moved the ball to their left hand wing where Pomeroy found some space, and more slack defending, to squirm his way past four defenders to the try line.

The score blew out to 28-4 when Dragons captain Ben Hornby dropped Brett Kimmorley’s chip kick as he crashed into the uprights, with Kearney picking up the pieces, and the fullback scored his third shortly afterwards as he squeezed past further poor defence to score underneath the posts.

To compound the Dragons’ night even further, prop Jason Ryles left the field with a shoulder problem with scans to be done on Tuesday.

St. George Illawarra coach Nathan Brown was left lamenting his side’s performance, saying a lot of players had to step up to the mark.

“We got some players who probably don’t quite understand what efforts required to win a first grade game,” Brown said in the post match press conference.

“The difference between high effort and a little bit off effort, and what can happen to you.”

The win pushes the Sharks back into the top eight, while the loss is the Dragons’ third from four starts this year, with a turnaround game against reigning premiers the Melbourne Storm on Saturday.

In Premier League, the Sharks recorded their first win of 2007 after scoring a late try to extinguish the Dragons 18-14.

Cronulla 40 (B Kearney 3, B Pomeroy 2, F Anderson, D Simmons tries; L Covell 6 goals) SGI 4 (J Morris try;) at Toyota Park, Monday April 9th, 2006. Referee: T Archer. Crowd: 19, 137 Penalties: Sharks 8-7 Completed Sets: Sharks 31/43 and Dragons 19/33. Line Breaks: Sharks 5-0. Missed Tackles: Dragons 62 Sharks 22.
- Marco Cevolani - Read More, Here