Valentine Holmes celebrates a try with his Sharks teammates.
Valentine Holmes celebrates a try with his Sharks teammates.

Sharks celebrate high five

THEY might have started the season off the pace but look out, because here comes Cronulla.

The 2016 NRL premiers made it five in a row with a gritty 22-16 win over a brave Canterbury yesterday.

With State of Origin spots up for grabs across the park, the two teams put on a fierce contest although yet again the constant stoppages from penalties caused plenty of frustration for players and onlookers.

The Sharks finished with four tries to three for a deserved win that keeps them inside the top eight on 14 competition points.

Bulldogs prop David Klemmer ran for 233m to finish with the most metres of any player while Sharks big man Andrew Fifita (171m) and Canterbury's Aaron Woods (132m) certainly didn't shirk their loads.

Josh Jackson also tried his heart out for the Dogs as did Kieran Foran who played his best game for his new club.

But in the end it was in vain as the Sharks rolled to another victory.

Josh Jackson reacts after the loss. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Josh Jackson reacts after the loss. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The flow of penalties again determined momentum throughout the first 40 minutes with the Sharks jumping to a 10-4 lead on the back of a run of five penalties before it was evened up at 5-all by the break with the scores locked at 10-all.

The penalties continued after the break with the Sharks again getting another straight run of five penalties as they jumped from 10-all to 22-14 heading into the final 10 minutes.

Commentator Andrew Johns said at one point during the second half when another penalty was blown: "This game is foreign to the game I grew up watching".

But around the run of penalties, the players attempted to put on a show, and they did a pretty fair job of it.

Josh Morris (right) celebrates with brother Brett (left) after scoring a try.
Josh Morris (right) celebrates with brother Brett (left) after scoring a try.

The Morris boys were again wonderful, with Brett bagging a double and Josh also touching down, although Josh did not return for the second half after having his leg squashed while attempting a tackle on young powerhouse Jesse Ramien.

Ramien's inexperience defensively was exposed by the Morris brothers on a couple of occasions that led to tries.

But he made up for it with a ripper of a solo effort in the second half when he beat four defenders to score.

The Dogs opened the scoring through Josh Morris in the ninth minute before Cronulla went back-to-back to jump six points clear.

The Sharks' two first-half tries came in the space of three minutes.

Edrick Lee crossed in the left corner in the 14th minute before a well-placed Matt Moylan kick was perfect for Valentine Holmes to touch down in the right corner.

But the Dogs responded when Brett Morris latched on to a touch of class from Moses Mbye (31st minute) and Mbye levelled the scores with a 37th minute penalty goal.

Ramien put the Sharks back in front but a wonderful finish from Brett Morris pulled the margin back to 16-14 though Mbye was unable to land the equaliser from the touchline.

The Sharks then skipped eight points clear when Matt Prior scored a well-earned try in the 68th minute.

Foran narrowly missed a chance to set up a grandstand finish when he lost control centimetres short of the line in the 74th minute.

A penalty goal to Mbye came too late in the final minute on the back of the sin-binning of Josh Dugan.

CRONULLA 22 (V Holmes E Lee M Prior J Ramien tries C Townsend 3 goals) bt CANTERBURY 16 (B Morris 2 J Morris tries M Mbye 2 goals) at Southern Cross Group Stadium. Referee: Matt Cecchin, Phil Henderson. Crowd: 14,004



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