By Nathan Beuman at Remondis Stadium
The Cronulla Sharks have produced a majestic performance in front of their home fans, knocking off the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 48-14 at Remondis Stadium.
Off the back of a hat trick to Jonathan Wright, and doubles to Valentine Holmes and Junior Roqica, the Sharks turned in one of their best performances of the season to snap a two game losing streak.
The visitors were the first team to trouble the scorer, when Masada Iosefa threw a cutout pass to put Dominic Reardon over in the 5th minute, before Clinton Gutherson sprayed the kick at goal to leave the score at 4-0.
It didn’t take long for Cronulla to bounce back though, with two converted tries to Junior Roqica in just six minutes putting the Sharks up 12-4 halfway through the first half.
The Sea Eagles were able to convert field position in to points shortly after, when an across field chip kick from Gutherson landed in the arms of winger Delroy Berryman, who managed to get to ground before being bundled into touch.
Gutherson was again unable to convert the try, leaving the visitors four points in arrears after 22 minutes.
In a massive blow to the Sea Eagles, front rower Jake Trbojevic was carried from the field on a stretcher with a dislocated ankle with just over ten minutes remaining in the first half.
To further add insult to injury, two quick tries in six minutes to five-eighth Penani Manumalealii and centre Jonathan Wright in the lead up to half time saw the Sharks take a 22-8 lead into the sheds.
Just as they did to open the game, the Sea Eagles scored the first points of the half, when a cutout pass from Gutherson found winger David Williams for Manly’s first and last try of the period.
With Gutherson struggling with the boot, Jack Littlejohn took over the goal kicking duties, nailing the conversion to make it 22-14 five minutes into the half.
The smile on Manly head coach Luke Williamson’s face would be short lived though, with his side conceding five answered tries in 25 minutes to confirm their fourth loss in their last five starts.
With the Sea Eagles defence already scrambling following a break from Valentine Holmes, Jonathan Wright went over for his second of the match, before Holmes converting to make it 28-14.
When a quick bat on from Sharks second rower Sione Masima fell into the hands of Holmes, the fullback went over untouched to make it 32-14 with 25 minutes remaining.
Holmes went over again in the 68th minute courtesy of a perfectly placed kick off the side of the boot from Manumalealii, with the fullback getting the ball down to the roar of the growing crowd at Remondis Stadium.
Tries to Jonathan Wright and Josh Portlock in the final five minutes capped off a dominant performance from last year’s VB NSW Cup Premiers, with the win seeing them jump in to sixth place of the competition table.
Next weekend the Sharks will be at Henson Park to tackle the Bulldogs on Saturday while the Sea Eagles return to Brooky to host the Cutters.
Cronulla Sharks 48 (J Wright 3, V Holmes 2, J Rociqa 2, J Portlock, P Manumalealii tries; V Holmes 6 goals) def. Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 14 (D Williams, D Berryman, D Reardon tries; J Littlejohn goal) at Remondis Stadium.