The Sunday Mail (Queensland)

Walker holds his nerve to sink Sharks with a late flurry

- MICHAEL CARAYANNIS

OH Cronulla. Not again. Just when it looked like they had finally claimed a top-eight scalp for the first time since 2019 they capitulate­d.

This time to the hands of teenage star Sam Walker.

The Sharks led 18-4 after 52 minutes but stumbled and fumbled their way to lose 26-18. The Roosters raced in four tries in 14 minutes, with Walker leading the side to victory in just his second game.

Walker finished the match with three try assists and one of his own to give the Roosters a dramatic come-from-behind win.

Cronulla’s loss will continue the question marks surroundin­g coach John Morris’ future with the biggest question left unanswered – will they beat a topeight side any time soon?

But as for Walker he rebounded after a tough first half where he was spotted defensivel­y to produce one of the best 10-minute performanc­es you could see.

He threw a cut-out right to left pass to start the comeback to winger Daniel Tupou and then replicated that pass on the other side of the field for the ageless Brett Morris to score a double against a 15-man Cronulla side who lost Josh Dugan and Wade Graham through concussion.

Cronulla took a handy 12-4 lead at halftime through tries to Mawene Hiroti and Will Kennedy.

They looked set for victory when Jack Williams scored after halftime before Walker inspired his team to victory in front of 10,739 people.

In the week where club legend Jake Friend was forced to retire because of concussion, the Roosters hooking stocks are severely depleted.

Starting No.9 Freddy Lussick lasted 18 minutes before he hyper-extended an elbow. ROOSTERS 26 (Brett Morris 2, Drew Hutchison, Daniel Tupou, Sam Walker tries; Siosiua Taukeiaho 3 goals) d SHARKS 18 (Mawene Hiroti, William Kennedy, Jack Williams tries; Goals: Chad Townsend 3). Crowd: 10,739 at SCG

 ??  ?? Sam Walker.
Sam Walker.

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