Sharks claim top position after pulsating finish in draw with Giants
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.