Sharks in late feed­ing frenzy

Southern Telegraph - - Sport - Pete Rowe

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.

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