IF they were handing out medals from the Sharks-Warriors NRL game, quite a few Sharks would be accepting gold.
Origin pair, captain Paul Gallen (195 metres) and Todd Carney, two tries, afield goal and eight goals from eight attempts (25 points), played less than 100 per cent fit, but you wouldn’t know it.
Interchange prop Andrew Fifita powered over defenders close to the line for two tries and his 177 metres almost matched his club record of the previous week.
Second rower Anthony Tupou was back to the form that won him a Test jumper and hooker Isaac De Gois made ground up the middle, just a few days before his first child is due to be born.
Out wide, centre Colin Best again showed why he might be returning a year early, his left-hand combination with winger John Williams (two tries) proving a nightmare for
the Warriors defence.
Fullback Matt Wright got up and ran, was belted, got up and ran, was belted ... his was a gutsy 80-minute performance.
Evergreen prop Ben Ross and partner Mark Taufua, second rower Jeremy Smith, half Jeff Robson, centre Ricky Leutele, winger Nathan Stapleton, and the three other interchange players — John Morris, Jayson Bukuya and
Tyson Frizell — all win silver in a dominating
team effort. Still smarting over the controversies which led to them losing in
golden point to Penrith the previous week, the
Sharks controlled the game from the time Carney piled on the first 12 points, to lead
21-4 at half time, before adding another 23 in
the second half.
‘‘The way Todd played was an absolute credit to the young man who has faced a lot of unfair and incorrect rumours in recent weeks,” coach Shane Flanagan said. “He showed great mental toughness.”
Flanagan was amazed how Gallen managed to perform at such a high level after so long (two months) on the sideline.
‘‘It’s the presence and confidence he brings the boys on the field,’’ he said.
‘‘We didn’t have a poor player. Now, we’re looking forward to getting the full team together at the right time of the season and making a good run through the finals.”
¦ The Sharks Under 20s stayed in the hunt for
the semis with a 40-10 thrashing of Warriors.
WELCOME RETURN: Fullback Nathan Gardner (pictured at training) is only two weeks off making a
return from his early season knee reconstructive surgery. He came through the two latest training
sessions where his lateral movement was tested and he ran with the ball.
‘‘My knee is fine, just my hamstring has been a bit tight,’’ said Gardner, who has not played in 17 weeks
since sustaining the Achilles injury against the Dragons, and then had a hamstring tendon transplanted
from his right to his left knee.
‘‘I’m aiming to play in round 25, just before the semis,’’ Gardner said.