Sharks tear Dogs to shreds
Rockingham Sharks’ bite was too much for the Kalamunda Bulldogs in round one of the 2017 NRL WA competition on Saturday with the Sharks romping to a 84-0 victory at Charles Riley Reserve.
With several new starters in their 17, the Sharks looked sharp and ready for a crack at honours, scoring 15 tries and 12 conversions in the victory, with a gallant Kalamunda team outfought and outfoxed at every turn.
Coach Darren Shaw said he was pleased with the way the game went.
“There were more positives than negatives and we still have some fine-tuning to do before our next game in two weeks, but a good start to the season,” Shaw said.
Caleb Reedy made his return to the club and was the architect of so many moves, as well as kicking 24 points from 12 conversions. New recruit Benny Leme Pyako from PNG, had a superb debut, scoring twice and setting up two more as the back line of the Sharks looked sharp all afternoon.
Pyako opened the scoring after seven minutes. Four minutes later skipper Reece Potter grabbed a second from a cleverly placed grubber kick.
An interception by Reedy set up try No.3 as the ever-dangerous Connor Hudson broke through and raced away 40 metres to score.
Reedy kept adding the extra points as the scoreboard ticked over and lock Brandon Wright, Andy Jeffery and winger Mike Tualagi-Heather all scored before full-back Steve Widders broke through following a superb kick from Reedy to give the Sharks a 42-0 half-time lead.
The Bulldogs showed spirit early in the second half, threatening Rockingham’s line, but solid defence kept them out and poor possession and dropped ball gave the Sharks more opportunities.
Two minutes into the second stanza Dave Tuiloa broke down the left to score and then beat two tackles on the Sharks next set of possession to set up Hudson to race over.
The poor Bulldogs gallantly tried to make a game of it, but several times dropped ball or made the wrong calls under pressure.
In the 49th minute a superb grubber kick from the pacey Pyako gave another debutant, Geordie Connolly, his first try for the club.
Widders added another, running off some superb play by Reedy and Brandon Timlin before Pyako scored a superb individual try.
The Papua New Guinea back broke from 60 metres out, cleared a tackle and danced past three players to cross with Reedy adding the extras. The Sharks still had plenty to offer, as coach Shaw made tactical changes.
“I wanted to just see how a few different things would work,” Shaw said.
He would have been pleased. On the hour Tuiloa barged across and Connelly added his second in the corner to push the score out to 78 after Reedy missed the conversion from wide out, only his third miss from 15 all afternoon.
The final try went to Wylis Timlin, brother of hooker Brandon, after Pyako broke away deep his own half, cleared a tackle attempt and offloaded to Connelly in support.
The former Penrith Panther cleared the way before passing to Timlin 40m out.
The Sharks junior took his opportunity well, grounding under the posts and leaving Reedy with a simple kick to round out the day.