The Cronulla-Caringbah Sharks have booked their sport in the Sydney Shield Grand Final against the defending premiers, the Ryde-Eastwood Hawks, after defeating the Belrose Eagles 32-12.
The first play of the game was incredible with the Sharks making a line-break off the first hit-up of the game before Belrose giving away a high tackle penalty before the first legal tackle of the game.
They didn’t waste any time nor their gifted field position when a grubber kick was put in underneath the posts and seemingly the whole team jumped on the scraps with Beau Abrahams scoring the early try.
The first seven minutes saw five penalties blown with four to the Sharks; once again they were not about to squander the opportunity when put on the attack. Fullback Callum Tutauha was sniffing around on the inside, charged onto a ball and used his elusiveness to break through and increase their lead to 12-0.
A penalty goal bumped the Sharks’ lead to 14 and the Eagles had to be next to score if they had any hope of a Grand Final appearance.
After the tumultuous opening 10 minutes the scoring slowed down and the Eagles were able to get back into the game when captain Christian Bate went on a short side run and created space for Beau Abrahams to score in the right corner.
The comeback was short-lived when Sharks’ prop and captain Tokerau Raru broke through the line and made an impressive 30-metre dash. The back-tracking defence could not respond in time as on the next play, halfback Bailey Hayward put a great grubber in for winger Brent Anderson to score in the left corner.
A couple of extra penalty goals bumped their lead up to 24-6 at half-time before Raru got the points he deserved for his line-break in the first half 10 minutes after the break when he barged his way through adjacent to the posts.
The Sharks kicked yet another penalty goal, before the Eagles scored a consolation try with five minutes remaining.