Sharks claim top po­si­tion af­ter pul­sat­ing fin­ish in draw with Giants

Southern Telegraph - - Telegraph Sport - Pete Rowe

Rock­ing­ham Sharks took over as league lead­ers last Satur­day night, but they had to fight to earn a point in a thrilling 26-26 draw with Joon­dalup Giants in round 11 of the Smarter Than Smok­ing Rugby League Pre­mier­ship.

Both sides were guilty of dropped balls, missed tack­les and er­rors, but the Sharks’ er­rors handed the Giants three first-half tries to en­sure the vis­i­tors went into the half-time break 16-12 up.

“We strug­gled at times in that first half,” coach Dar­ren Shaw said.

“Our com­ple­tion rate was not good.” The Sharks went into the game miss­ing sev­eral first team reg­u­lars through in­jury — cen­tre Ge­ordie Con­nolly, for­wards Ju­lian Wish-Wil­son, An­thony Bow­man Craig Mad­den and Pete Worth, with Tyler Hunt also un­avail­able — and had to dig deep to earn a share of the spoils.

In a fran­tic fi­nal five min­utes, both sides tried to find field pos­ses­sion for a drop goal at­tempt, but both failed as the points were shared on a day when league lead­ers Fremantle were top­pled at home by North Beach, mean­ing the Sharks took over top spot.

With seven games left, Rock­ing­ham and Fremantle are on 15 points, with the Giants and South Perth on 13 and the Sea Ea­gles on 10. In ear­lier games, the women’s TAG lost 12-0, Val Mur­phy Thirds won 18-6 and the re­serves came home 20-6 win­ners.

On Satur­day, the Sharks host South Perth in an­other big clash for Women in League Day, when the club makes a do­na­tion to the McGrath Foun­da­tion.

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