Sharks edge out Knights 16-13 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks edge out Knights 16-13

By Liam Fitzgibbon 19/07/2008 09:42:57 PM Comments (0)

A pair of second-half penalty goals gave Cronulla a hard-fought 16-13 win over a brave Newcastle in their NRL match at Toyota Stadium.

Trailing 13-12 at halftime after Knights halfback Jarrod Mullen had nailed a field goal just before the break, neither side was able to score a try in the second half with Luke Covell's goals in the 55th and 78th minutes proving the difference.

The first penalty was awarded in controversial circumstances with Newcastle five-eighth Chris Bailey ruled to have infringed with the play-the-ball despite seeming to fall over as he tried to get up.

The second, a stripping penalty, was awarded by the video referee after referee Tony Archer had originally awarded a Sharks knock-on.

The Knights, without experienced trio Danny Buderus, Steve Simpson and Adam MacDougall due to injury, were gallant in defeat and defended strongly all night.

Their chances of a late comeback suffered a big blow when Mullen, one of their best players at that point, was forced off with fifteen minutes to go with a hip flexor injury.

The win allowed the Sharks to return to second on the NRL ladder, for the time being at least with Melbourne and the Sydney Roosters yet to play this round.

A sour note from the win came when Sharks captain Paul Gallen was placed on report for a high shot on Knights centre Cooper Vuna early in the second half.

Both sides had scored two converted tries in the first half with David Simmons and Fraser Anderson crossing for the Sharks while backrower Zeb Taia and debutant Fijian winger Aku Uake scored for the Knights, who twice came from behind in the first half.

Taia cancelled out Simmons' opener in the 17th minute with Taia plucking a marvellous Mullen banana kick out of the air and planting the ball under the posts.

But the Sharks then regained the lead when Anderson took a Kimmorley chip kick and grounded the ball 10 minutes before halftime.

Impressive Uake, 20, who has drawn comparisons to dual international Lote Tuqiri, strolled over with four minutes left after and Kurt Gidley converted to level scores at 12-all.

Mullen then gave his side a one-point halftime buffer, with a cooly-slotted penalty from right in front.

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