Warriors capitulate as Sharks run riot

The New Zealand Warriors faced the Cronulla Sharks at the Central Coast Stadium with both sides looking to bounce back from defeats in round nine.

It took just three minutes for the first points to be scored and they came pretty quickly for the Sharks.

Chad Townsend took the ball the line around 20-metres from the Warriors line and popped the ball to Braden Hamlin-Uele who charged through a gap and ran away to score.

Just a couple of minutes later, the Warriors responded with their first attacking set.

Blake Greens’s fifth tackle kick caused confusion between Will Kennedy and Ronaldo Mulitalo, with the ball bouncing into the arms of David Fusitu’a.

Fusitu’a then did well to offload out of tackle of Chad Townsend and offload to Patrick Herbert who dotted down in the corner.

Unfortunately for the home side, Herbert lost control of the ball in his attempt to score and the score remained 0-6.

The Warriors were then punished by the Sharks as after a scrum in midfield from 10-metres out, Shaun Johnson combined with Kennedy and the full-back managed to break on the inside of Peter Hiku and double the visitors lead.

In the 15th minute, a third try came for Cronulla, as Wade Graham took the ball on the short-side pushing it onto Josh Dugan, who managed to get an arm free in the tackle to offload to Mulitalo and the winger picked up the bouncing ball and dot down on the left-wing.

The Warriors defence in the middle of the park was very poor, as the likes of Aaron Woods and Hamlin-Uele were making plenty of metres with the ball in hand.

This set the Sharks up deep inside the 20-metre line once more, but Halin-Uele couldn’t quite gather the quick pass from Blayke Brailey.

Following a successful Captains Challenge, overturning a knock-on call, the Warriors managed to attack from a midfield scrum of their own from 10-metres out.

After forcing a repeat set, and set restart, Blake Green and Kodi Nikorima combined to allow the number 6 to skip inside Sione Katoa, and pass outside to Ken Maumalo who walked over in the corner.

Following a line break from Mulitalo, the Sharks were back on the front foot in the attack, and on the fifth tackle, Townsend couldn’t quite gather Johnson’s fifth tackle kick to score, but Johnson, who was chasing ahead too managed to get there before the ball bounced over the dead-ball line to score.

Johnson then converted his own try to make it 4-24 after half an hour.

The game then fizzled out towards the break with both sides conceding plenty of penalties in midfield but the Warriors were looking a little more solid.

HALF-TIME: New Zealand Warriors 4-24 Cronulla Sharks

The Sharks took the same amount of time to score in the second half as they did the first.

Blake Green looked to kick through behind the Cronulla defence but Shaun Johnson scooped up the loose ball and escaped up the half-way line before spinning a pass out to Sione Katoa.

Katoa turned on the after-burners but with Hiku chasing, the winger turned the Warriors centre inside out and then dove over in the corned for a fifth Sharks try.

With 25 minutes to go, the Sharks looked to have crossed for yet another try.

This time, the ball was shifted to Jesse Ramien, who was put into loads of space thanks to Johnson, and the centre charged into the corner and slam the ball down.

Things got worse for the Warriors when Blake Green was sin-binned for a professional foul after he took out Wade Graham as he was chasing after a Townsend kick just five metres from the sideline.

With the extra man, the Sharks made the overlap count on the right edge, as Graham, Johnson and Townsend quickly moved the ball out to Katoa who walked in the corner and even had time to make the kick slightly easier too.

The Warriors were looking to make the scoreline a little more respectable, but knock-ons from Fusitu’a and Nikorima allowed the Sharks to come away still 36-points ahead with just over five minutes to go.

With three minutes to go, Katoa picked up a loose pass from Tohu Harris and offloaded inside to Ramien, who managed to beat Tuivase-Sheck and score under the posts.

In the final minute, the Warriors kicked short at the kick-off and regathered. In the next tackle Jazz Tevaga bounced out of a tackle, offloaded to Tuivasa-Sheck, who in turn offloaded to Wayde Egan to score and deny the Sharks the chance at entering the top-eight.

FULL-TIME: New Zealand Warriors 10-46 Cronulla Sharks


Squads


New Zealand Warriors

Tuivasa-Sheck, Fusitu’a, Herbert, Hiku, Maumalo, Nikorima, Green, Taunoa-Brown, Egan, Blair, Harris, Lawton, Hetherington

Interchanges: E. Katoa, Paasi, Papali’i, Tevaga

Tries: Maumalo, Egan

Goals: Nikorima (1/2)


Cronulla Sharks

Kennedy, S. Katoa, Dugan, Ramien, Mulitalo, Johnson, Townsend, Hamlin-Uele, Brailey, Woods, Nikora, Graham, Sorensen

Interchanges: Rudolf, Tracey. Talakai, Hunt

Tries: Hamlin-Uele, Kennedy, Mulitalo, Johnson, Katoa (2), Ramien(2)

Goals: Johnson (7/8)


Referee: M. Cecchin

Touch Judges: B. Sharpe, D. Oultram

Video Referee: B. Norrie


Image Source: @NRL (Twitter)

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