Depleted Sharks too good for Warriors - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Depleted Sharks too good for Warriors

10/07/2004 09:55:32 PM Comments (0)

In greasy conditions, a depleted Cronulla almost let victory slip before holding out the New Zealand Warriors 22-14 in a mistake riddled NRL clash at Toyota Park.

After leading 12-4 at halftime, the Sharks only held a slender 16-14 buffer in the final minutes before super sub Michael Sullivan stood up in the absence of injured stars David Peachey (quadriceps) and Brett Kimmorley (hamstring) to set up the match winner for Nigel Vagana.

Sullivan grubbered through for Vagana to score with just two minutes left on the clock before hooker Matt Hilder potted his third conversion from four attempts.

It was the second straight week the Sharks notched a win without their stars to perhaps once and for all ditch the tag of two-man show following their stirring 34-26 win at Newcastle last weekend.

Peachey failed a fitness test while former Test halfback Kimmorley aggravated a hamstring complaint mid-week to extend his stint on the sidelines for another fortnight.

Slippery conditions ensured plenty of dropped ball but errors from both sides led to an almost comical display summed up by a 60th minute penalty kick by Warriors fullback Brent Webb which hit the upright, only for the Sharks to fumble the ball.

Both sides traded tries in the second half with the Warriors cutting the deficit to 12-10 through Wairangi Koopu (48th minute) only for the Sharks to bounce back through Nathan Merritt (65th) off a Sullivan kick.

The disappointing 7,017-strong home crowd was kept honest again when Kiwi reserve Louis Anderson ran off Stacey Jones to score in the 68th minute but Tony Martin failed to lock up the scores when he missed the conversion.

The Sharks led 12-4 at halftime after crossing through backrowers Matt Bickerstaff (8th minute) and Phil Bailey (17th).

Ex-Test backrower Bailey when his kick was tapped into play by winger Merritt as he was tackled into touch before the ball was toed in-goal by Ryan McGoldrick and Bailey pounced.

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