EbeneNews – UA – Loss of exhausted Raiders seals unwelcome top-eight record for Sharks

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    Among the records broken in the last round of a particular season, the Sharks can claim the one they did everything to avoid

    No NRL team has ever qualified for the final without beating a top-eight team – so far If the Roosters are to become the first team to concede over 50 and win a grand final, then Sharks must hope they really saved their best for last

    On that note, they are technically the worst performing team to make the top eight and they can be thankful that the season has been reduced to 20 laps, given the Gold Coast Titans’ momentum, ninth

    They were lucky enough to make sure they had at least one scalp when they hosted a Raiders squad missing almost all of their stars Instead, the young Canberra squad took a 24-hour lead. -10 at halftime, then withstood a comeback in the second half to win 38-28 under lead skipper Sam Williams

    Sharks coach John Morris said he was also missing a guest of his regulars (including Shaun Johnson, Chad Townsend, Jackson Ferris, Matt Moylan, Josh Dugan and Sione Katoa) and that their motivation was next week, without trying to avoid a pre-final story

    “We beat a top-eight team next week, that’s all forgotten,” Morris said “It was a tough situation Both sides had a lot of players out The Raiders got a lot of rest, we also took a few from our side We wanted to play well and win the game, but we had nine guys out of 17

    “It’s hard to separate him and focus on what’s wrong We’re going to have a pretty healthy squad next week We won the second half but we shot each other in the foot

    “We wanted to come here and play really well But we had nine players and we are getting a number back next week. We are happy with what awaits us”

    It really looked like a golden opportunity to break their 0-7 record this season against contending teams Ricky Stuart chose to rest a catalog of his best players, with Josh Papalii, Jack Wighton, Jarrod Croker, George Williams, John Bateman and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad And Canberra also lost Ryan Sutton with what club medical staff suspect to be a top MCL which would rule him out of the final

    But Stuart’s young brigade did a great job of taking control of the game and then faltering on the line as the Sharks pressed late to bring it within 10-10 minutes of time.

    Canberra played the last five minutes with 12 players after Corey Harawira-Naera was convicted of malpractice Cronulla had a stream of blood to his head – one of which was a Fifita dump who never was lit – and their late opportunities were wasted

    It was too much for referee Ashley Klein, who injured her ankle and had to be substituted late in the game Gerard Sutton was sent into the fray and one of his first jobs was to direct Harawara-Naera to the hangars after his offense

    Dunamis Lui has been an unsung hero of the Raiders all season and he was dominant at the start of the contest It was clear that he wanted to pave the way for his inexperienced side and the prop was rewarded when he got cleared the way for an early trial

    There were only Raiders left after that Tom Starling cut the Sharks into ribbons of the dummy half and Harley Smith-Shields, after almost breaking her finger while sliding through the banner ads, also got into the things. Williams crossed under the posts before the break and Canberra was gone

    At least that’s what they thought, especially when they had an even bigger lead of 34-10 But the Sharks crossed twice in four minutes, then went down to 10

    Even with the Raiders one man down, Cronulla hasn’t found the calm or the creativity to find a way to cross the line Their task next week against an opposition that won’t hold back anything seems immense

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    Canberra Raiders, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, National Rugby League, Ryan Sutton, Ricky Stuart

    EbeneNews – AU – Loss to exhausted Raiders seals unwanted top eight record for the sharks


    SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com

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