The Sharks beat the Warriors with a strong performance, winning XX after trailing 12-0 early in the first half.
In Stacey Jones’ head coach debut, the New Zealand side looked strong early on, with Reece Walsh and Wade Egan scoring the first two tries.
Then the Sharks hit back thanks to a try by Sione Katoa, before the Warriors made an ‘unforgivable’ mistake by kicking the ball full from the kick-off.
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“That’s unforgivable,” Andrew Voss said before the Sharks stormed off the field, resulting in a try from Siosifa Talakai.
Craig Fitzgibbon’s side then piled on the points before Dallin Watene-Zelezniak scored a ridiculous aerial attempt to cross last for the Warriors.
“Spectacular athletics here from Dallin Watene-Zelezniak,” said Greg Alxander.
“The Redcliffe Leagues club has broken out,” said Andrew Voss.
But the Sharks ran away with the game, scoring three more tries while Cronulla’s wingers combined made a whopping five attempts, with Ronaldo Mulitalo scoring two and Sione Katoa a hat-trick.
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Siosifa Talakai has returned to his brilliant best with a stellar performance against the Warriors.
The 25-year-old finished with an impressive stat line – 206 running yards, one tackle break, one offload, one try and one line break.
One moment stunned Fox League commentators, receiving the ball into space before using his pace and footwork to burn New Zealand center Rocco Berry to score.
“Hands on Siosifa Talakai never work, mind the footwork,” said Greg Alexander.
“Talakai, he just has that football speed, he’s got enough speed off the goal, the movement when he caught the ball, there’s a little bit to it,” said Andrew Voss.
“Not only is he a blockbusting runner, he also has some talent and very soft hands,” said Alexander.
“The fridge with legs, not the stone with eyes, it can play,” said Billy Moore.
Meanwhile, outside of Talakai and his center partner Jesse Ramien, the Cronulla wingers combined for a whopping five tries – two for Ronaldo Mulitalo and a hat-trick for Sione Katoa.
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‘FRAGILE’ WARRIORS ONLY HAVE THEIR BLAME
It was a tough first game for interim coach Stacey Jones, who saw the Warriors shoot to a 12-nil lead in the opening 12 minutes and then give up eight tries.
They have now dropped to six straight losses to round out a horror week and Michael Ennis believes they can “only blame themselves”.
After a fourth attempt by the Sharks to let in, rugby league great Billy Moore set the fire to the Warriors’ ‘very fragile defence’.
The Warriors lost an opportunity when Chanel knocked Harris-Tavita 25 yards from his own line. The Sharks picked up the ball and scored not long after.
“No resilience from the Warriors, that’s their 2022 diagnosis,” Moore said.
“They cannot defend every dropped ball. That took three tackles and they cracked them down the left side. The right side of the Warriors, where Johnson is defending, is very, very vulnerable.”
Things went from bad to worse for the Warriors when Sharks scored on the stroke of half-time six minutes later.
“That hurts, when you’re a Warriors fan that hurts you,” said Fox League commentator Andrew Voss.
Ennis said at halftime that the Sharks “dominated” and the Warriors “can only blame themselves”, while Braith Anasta called the kick-off a pivotal moment.
“We’re talking about moments and the Warriors playing the full 80 minutes and they’re struggling with that. It was just a kick-out, a big turning point,” he said.
Corey Parker believes the Warriors’ inability to stay focused for a full game is now a trend.
“It’s just that little lack of concentration for the individuals,” he said.
“They played a similar style of football against the Knights a few weeks ago – 12-nil to start with, then they kicked three out completely and there was a real change of momentum. Once that momentum changes it’s so hard to come back.
“So the Warriors have done what the Warriors are doing again.”
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HYNES AND MOYLAN FIRE
The Sharks half combination of Nicho Hynes and Matt Moylan has shot the Warriors and returned to the dazzling brand of attacking football fans they have become accustomed to.
In recent games against the Roosters and Titans, Craig Fitzgibbon’s teams’ attack seemed clumsy and rigid.
But on round 14, the Cronulla side moved the ball smoothly from side to side, finding space in the pockets while Nicho Hynes controlled the game.
Hynes’ kick game was strong and the way he steered his forward pack was highlighted by Fox League’s Michael Ennis, who believed the Warriors halves weren’t doing the same.
“Hynes does exactly what the Warriors don’t. He’s there to play the long game,” said Michael Ennis.
“He wasn’t brilliant but he wasn’t very controlled, his overall game kicks were very direct, you can tell he organizes his plays.
“But he links with Matt Moylan, especially if they went to that left side. When he came to the right, he had some nice touches with Kennedy, but he was quite dominant — in more of just a controlling sense.”
Stacey Jones has a job ahead of him getting Chanel Harris-Tavita and Shaun Johnson into shape, but his first port of call will be to get them to lead the Warriors’ large bodies through the park, just like Nicho Hynes did. to defeat them.
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