Premiers stunned in up­set of the sea­son so far Sharks strike back

Townsville Bulletin - - NRL -

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

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