Sharks stage late comeback to defeat Eels 35-28

Flying Shark: Jack Bird offloads with time to spare. Photo: Getty Images
Flying Shark: Jack Bird offloads with time to spare. Photo: Getty Images

Cronulla Sharks staged a remarkable late second half fightback defeating Parramatta 35-28 on Saturday at Pirtek Stadium and clinching fourth spot on the NRL competition table.

A field goal by the Sharks wonder boy Valentine Holmes and a try to veteran Michael Ennis gave the Sharks a thrilling victory when it appeared the Eels were going to cause an upset.

Cronulla led 20-10 at halftime but the Eels scored three converted tries to hit the lead 28-22 in the second half.

Then with 12 minutes to go, a flashing try to Sharks winger Sosaia Feki, his second of the match, was converted by fullback Michael Gordon which levelled the scores at 28-28.

Valentine Holmes, a future of State of Origin player for Queensland, kicked a field goal to break the deadlock with just four minutes left making the score 29-28.

Hooker Michael Ennis, who has been outstanding this season, burrowed his way over to seal the match with a minute to go and Gordon landed the conversion from wideout to give the seaside club a 35-28 lead.

Last season the Sharks were wooden spooners and are now fourth on 32 points.

Sharks coach Shane Flanagan has done a tremendous job bringing them up to standard as his team lost their first four games.

Cronulla scored four first-half tries to lead 20-10 at halftime.

Sosaia Feki, Ricky Leutele, Michael Gordon and Jason Bukuya flashed over for tries in the first half. Fullback Michael Gordon, who is joining the Eels next year, kicked two goals.

Gordon was targetted by the Eels in the first half with both their tries coming from high kicks that he dropped.

The Sharks knew the importance of the game entering the clash fifth on 30 points, knowing victory would elevate them into fourth place with a round to go before the finals.

The Sharks host Manly in their final premiership round on Sunday, September 6 at Remondis Stadium, at 4pm.

The NRL finals series start on Friday, September 11.

Scorers Cronulla 35: Sosaia Feki 2, Michale Gordon, Michael Ennis, Ricky Leutele, Luke Lewis tries, Michael Gordon 5 goals, Valentine Holmes one field goal) defeated Parramatta 28 (Semi Radradra, Ryan Morgan, Daniel Álvaro, Reece Robinson, Isaac De Gois, Luke Kelly 4 goals).

Leader Man of the Match: Sharks hooker Michael Ennis.

Crowd: 11,778

Can the Sharks keep up the good work?