Premiers stunned in upset of the season so far Sharks strike back
A WEEK after their captain deemed them not up to NSW C u p s t a n d a r d , C r o n u l l a stunned NRL premiership f a v o u r i t e s S t G e o r g e Illawarra 16-10 in last night’s local derby at a rain-soaked Toyota Stadium.
Showing the sort of tenacity and cohesion desperately lacking in their first-up thumping at the hands of Canberra, the Sharks kickstarted their 2011 campaign by bullying the Dragons into one of their worst efforts in recent seasons.
It continued a weekend of form reversals, with the S h a r k s j o i n i n g M a n l y , Penrith and Brisbane in hitting back from poor roundone defeats.
But no recovery was as dramatic as this one, with centre Ben Pomeroy – a late inclusion at the expense of Dean Collis – scoring a memorable double to give the 12,183 fans who braved the ordinary conditions plenty to celebrate – and plenty of reason for optimism.
Back-rower Jeremy Smith was brilliant as he terrorised his former teammates, while skipper Paul Gallen ran for an amazing 218 metres on 20 hit-ups.
Gallen admitted the Sharks had planned to go through the Dragons with their big forward pack, but said talk of a revival was still premature.
‘‘ We spoke about ( bashing them) during the week, that’s what we had to do, but in saying that, it’s not hard to get up for St George – they’re the premiers, everyone lifts