The Cronulla Sharks welcomed the North Queensland Cowboys to Jubilee Stadium, with their finals spot in jeopardy heading into the final four weeks.
The Cowboys were the first to get over the line as they opened the scores just six minutes in.
Michael Morgan combined with Scott Drinkwater to attack down their right-wing and Kyle Feldt collected Drinkwater’s looped pass over the top fo the first points.
In the tenth minute, Jesse Ramien skipped across the face of the North Queensland defence, and get himself into the in-goal area.
Braydon Trindall then took the ball off the centre and touched down.
The try was scrubbed off though as Ramien ran behind his own teammate, and therefore obstructed the Cowboys defenders.
Trindall was to be denied again a couple of minutes later as he chased onto the ball after Valentine Holmes fumbled a kick.
However, Holmes managed to ground the ball before the half-back.
After the goal-line drop-out, Trindall held the ball up just enough to create a gap big enough to send Briton Niukore through to score and level up.
The Cowboys would lose Michael Morgan before the game restarted as a calf injury forced the half-back and visitors captain out of the rest of the game.
Just after the 20th minute, the Sharks pulled ahead thanks to a wonderful finish from Sione Katoa.
Will Kennedy delivered a sweet catch and pass, to put Katoa on the outside of Holmes and the winger raced away and beat the desperate lunge from Drinkwater to dive over in the corner.
The front-rowers of Cronulla then combined as Aaron Woods took the ball at first receiver, dragged in a few defenders and then tipped the ball into Braden Hamlin-Uele to charge over.
HALF-TIME: Cronulla Sharks 16-6 North Queensland Cowboys
It took Cronulla less than three minutes to extend their lead further.
Trindall flicked the ball out to Niukore, who broke the line, and with just Holmes to beat, released Siosifa Talakai to run past the full-back and score.
With just over half an hour to go, a fifth tackle kick was gathered by Mulitalo, and then the ball was kept alive.
Trindall then kicked across filed for Josh Dugan to claim on the bounce and then grounded the ball after spinning out the tackle.
However, Dugan did not retreat back behind the ball on the previous tackle and therefore the try was disallowed.
In the 70th minute, Kennedy made a break in midfield and released Connor Tracey to his left-hand side.
The half-back was determined to stretch over and score and despite the Cowboys picking up the loose ball and running away, the try was confirmed by the bunker.
Despite being 22-points down, the Cowboys spread the ball to the right edge, and Holmes tipped the ball to Feldt to slide over in the corner.
The Sharks had the ball in their hands in the final seconds and Andrew Fifita was wrapped up to end the game.
FULL-TIME: Cronulla Sharks 28-12 North Queensland Cowboys
Kennedy, Katoa, Dugan, Ramien, Tracey, Trindall, Hamlin-Uele, Brailey, Woods, Niukore, Graham, Sorensen
Interchanges: Rudolf, Talakai, Hunt, Fifita
Tries: Niukore, Katoa, Hamlin-Uele, Talakai, Tracey
Goals: Trindall (4/5)
North Queensland Cowboys
Drinkwater, Feldt, O’Neill, Lemuelu, Holmes, Asi, Morgan, Molo, Cotter, McLean, Dunn, Hess, McGuire
Interchanges: Granville, Asiata, Gilbert, Jensen
Tries: Feldt (2)
Goals: Holmes (2/2)
Referee: C. Sutton
Touch Judges: Z. Przeklasa-Adamski, D. Oultram
Video Referee: B. Norrie
Image Source: @NRL (twitter)