Sydney Roosters teach Cronulla Sharks a lesson with 30-16 win

The Sydney Roosters showed Cronulla the level they must aspire to if they are to be considered a genuine title threat, with the reigning premiers running out 30-16 winners over the Sharks on Saturday night.

In front of a host of the club's old boys at Shark Park, Cronulla were left to rue a disastrous period of nine minutes either side of half-time where they gave up four tries to be blown away by the Tri Colours.

Sure, the Sharks were missing some troops. Co-captains Paul Gallen and Wade Graham were still unavailable through injury, as was fullback Matt Moylan.

But the Roosters were on a different level. They did the basics not just better, but almost perfectly.

After a tight opening 20 minutes the Sharks looked to have taken the lead through Josh Morris. The centre's effort was ruled a try by the on-field officials, only to be disallowed for a knock on from Sosaia Feki as he contested a high kick in the lead up.

And the Roosters took advantage from the next set. A Boyd Cordner flick pass eventually found Luke Keary for the diminutive five-eighth to break Cronulla's line on halfway. Keary raced through before drawing Josh Dugan and finding Cooper Cronk in support to score.

The Sharks got themselves back in the arm wrestle and looked certain to go to half-time only trailing by six points. Cronulla had an attacking scrum with about 20 seconds remaining in the half, with Shaun Johnson putting in a poor kick to gift possession back to the Roosters.

With the siren imminent, Keary then attempted an audacious kick about 30 metres out from his own line across for Latrell Mitchell on the sideline. The giant centre caught the ball on the full and raced 60m to score an incredible try and gift the Roosters a 12-0 half-time lead.

From the first set after the re-start, Briton Nikora broke clean through the Roosters' line after Keary pulled out of a tackle after he was called offside as the Sharks looked to hit straight back.

The young back-rower stormed downfield and drew James Tedesco, only for Bronson Xerri to drop the pass when it appeared the 18-year-old would dash the rest of the way to score.

It was to be a 12-point swing as the Roosters scored from the ensuing set, with Mitchell charging back on the inside for Tedesco to score to make it 18-0.

The Sharks then invited the visitors straight back on the attack as they put the kick-off dead on the full.

And the Roosters would again make them pay, this time through Cordner as he crashed over.

All of a sudden it was 30-0 when Matt Ikuvalu produced a phenomenal finish in the right corner with only eight minutes of the second half having been played.

It could have been worse midway through the half as Angus Crichton bombed a certain try for the Roosters after Keary produced a beautifully weighted grubber kick, only for Crichton to fail to ground the ball.

The Sharks finally got themselves on the scoreboard through Morris after 61 minutes and went back to back two minutes later when Johnson touched down after a raid down the left side.

Credit to the Sharks, they refused to quit. They tried hard for the final 20 minutes as the Roosters tried to simply control the game with Jack Williams scoring a late consolation try for Cronulla to add some respectability to the score.

It was a lesson for this young Cronulla side that if they are to compete in the big games at the end of the season, there is still much improvement left in them.

The Sharks return to their newly renamed home at PointsBet Stadium when they host Penrith on Thursday night. 

Leader Scoreboard

Sydney Roosters 30 (Latrell Mitchell, James Tedesco Cooper Cronk, Boyd Cordner, Matt Ikuvalu tries. Latrell Mitchell five goals)


Cronulla Sharks 16 (Josh Morris, Shaun Johnson, Jack Williams tries. Chad Townsend two goals)

at PointsBet Stadium, Woolooware

Leader man of the match: Luke Keary (Roosters)

Sharks' next three: Panthers (home), Broncos (away), Storm (home)