Sharks in late feeding frenzy
An almost faultless second-half performance from the Rockingham Sharks had them come away from George Burnett Oval with both points in a solid 18-4 victory over the South Perth Lions in the Smarter than Smoking Premiership on Saturday.
The Sharks struggled through much of the first half, completing barely 50 per cent of their sets, looking sluggish as the home side piled on early pressure.
And it didn’t take long for the Lions to find the line after keeping Rockingham pinned inside their own 20 for two sets.
Second-rower Adam Bartholomew found a hole in the defence to cross in the 12th minute as the Sharks struggled to keep up with the early pace of the game.
Sharks coach Darren Shaw said his side was really slow and flat in the first half.
“At half-time we stressed our need to work through our sets, keep possession and keep our mistakes to minimum but force them
into errors,” Shaw said. Errors were plentiful in that first 40, with Rockingham making eight to South Perth’s five as the visitors gradually found their feet and their gameplay started to exert pressure on a Lions defence that was found to be weak out wide.
Geordie Connelly and Connor Hudson were particularly dangerous down the left flank and it was from this pair the Sharks equalised in the 23rd minute.
After Hudson caught another superb flick pass from Connelly in the 50th minute to race over, the Sharks had to endure three straight sets in their own 20, keeping the home side at bay and picking up some injuries to forwards Ben Bolth and Reece Potter before full-back Benny Leme was carried from the field after turning an ankle in an awkward tackle.
The third try came after two high tackles and resulting penalties from a frustrated Lions defence.
Half-back Caleb Reedy missed his kick but the Sharks backed it up nine minutes later as he raced through a gap in the defence.
Earlier in the day, the women went down 4-0, the under-18s had a superb 42-38 victory, Val Murphy (thirds) lost 46-16 and the reserves were stunned by a last-minute field goal to go down 13-12.