Sharks break pink jersey curse

Weekend Courier - - Sport -

FOOT­BALL THE curse of the pink jersey nearly came back to haunt the Rock­ing­ham Sharks again on Satur­day in their Smarter Than Smok­ing Premier­ship clash with the South Perth Lions at Franklin Off­shore Sport­splex.

The Sharks wore a spe­cial pink kit to cel­e­brate Women in League round – an event in pre­vi­ous years that has seen them al­ways lose.

For much of the sec­ond half of this pul­sat­ing game, it looked as if his­tory would re­peat it­self, as the Sharks, with sev­eral key play­ers in­jured, had to sur­vive an on­slaught from the vis­i­tors to edge home 14-10.

Steve Wid­ders was the star of the show in that first half, with an in­tel­li­gent kick­ing game, both long, short and high, as he tested the Lions de­fence.

Sadly for the player, he suf­fered a game-end­ing knee in­jury that re­quired hos­pi­tal treat­ment just be­fore the in­ter­val. It is still un­cer­tain how many weeks he may miss as the Sharks aim for fi­nals foot­ball with just five reg­u­lar-sea­son games left.

“Los­ing Steve was a blow, but we have played with­out him be­fore, so we’ll take stock at train­ing in mid­week and make some calls then,” coach Dar­ren Shaw said.

Of the game, Shaw was happy, but frus­trated as his side of­ten gave up pos­ses­sion to of­fer the Lions a chance to grab vic­tory.

“If I had hair, I’d be pulling it out,” he said.

“But credit to all of them. At the end, in that fi­nal 15 min­utes, we had no re­place­ments on the bench and play­ers forced to play out of po­si­tion. We dug deep and we hung on.”

Shaw knows his side can play bet­ter than that, but to win ‘ugly’ against a good Lions side was a sign this team has the mak­ings of a good fi­nals out­fit.

“A real arm-wres­tle,” was how coach Shaw summed it up af­ter­wards.

An arm-wres­tle that saw the Sharks main­tain their topof-the-lad­der po­si­tion on points dif­fer­ence ahead of Fre­man­tle, with the two due to meet in two weeks time.

Harry Rowe

The Sharks wore a spe­cial pink kit to cel­e­brate Women in League last week­end.

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