Sharks ride their luck against Knights - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks ride their luck against Knights

By Philip Henderson 24/06/2006 10:18:37 PM Comments (0)

Cronulla skipper Brett Kimmorley admitted his side got out of jail after escaping with a 26-16 win in a drama-charged NRL clash with Newcastle at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

The Sharks took full advantage of some good fortune to overturn a 10-0 halftime deficit and claim a fourth-straight win and consign the struggling Knights to their fourth-straight defeat.

Cronulla's eighth victory in nine starts lifted the Sharks to second on the ladder.

But it didn't come without incident, with Knights coach Michael Hagan left fuming over at least two refereeing decisions he believed denied his side tries.

Cronulla ended up outscoring the Knights four tries to three, but Newcastle also crossed the line on four other occasions only to be denied by referee Ben Cummins and the video official.

The first incident came midway through the first half when Cummins called back what seemed a try to winger Brian Carney for a forward pass.

Then, with the Knights ahead 16-14 in the second half, video referee Steve Nash ruled "no try" on three different occasions against the home side in the space of just seven minutes.

All three were ruled as Knights knock-ons - the last particularly heartbreaking as Todd Lowrie dropped the ball over the line to butcher a certain try - but Hagan believed the first two should have been awarded.

It left Hagan to lament: "I think the better team lost, put it that way.

"The video ref has got it wrong, and no doubt they'll back it up with an explanation and we'll have to cop it again, which when you're searching for a win, that's what can happen to you."

The Sharks went on to take the lead through a Beau Scott try in the 70th minute before centre Nigel Vagana iced the win with his second score of the night just minutes before fulltime.

Sharks skipper Brett Kimmorley admitted the three disallowed tries was the night's turning point.

"We were probably lucky to still be alive," he said.

"How many second chances do you get?

"We played so well to get back in the game and I think if they had scored one of those tries that puts them 6-8 points in front and probably breaks our heart a little bit.

"We were probably a bit lucky with a few decisions but we were good enough to execute with the ball at the other end.

"We did in a way get out of jail. They might say they lost the game, but we still did enough to win it."

Compounding the loss for Newcastle was a serious knee injury to five-eighth Kurt Gidley, which will likely see him out of action for several weeks.

Newcastle battled hard for a 10-0 lead in the first half - which featured two Anthony Quinn tries - but found itself behind 12-10 just five minutes after the break.

A spectacular try to Vagana, set up by a freakish piece of ball handling from backrower Greg Bird, kickstarted the Sharks revival.

The in-form Cronulla forward leapt to tap back a towering Brett Kimmorley bomb in the 42nd minute, but was alert enough to grab the ball himself at the second attempt, and flick a no-look miracle ball to Vagana, who streaked away to score.

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