Young Sharks looking toward derby clash

A team: The right side sparked up with Shaun Johnson feeding good ball to two try heroes Jesse Ramien and Ronaldo Mulitalo. Picture: NRL Imagery
A team: The right side sparked up with Shaun Johnson feeding good ball to two try heroes Jesse Ramien and Ronaldo Mulitalo. Picture: NRL Imagery

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Dragons coach Paul McGregor wasn't the only NRL coach feeling pressure at this stage in the 2020 season with Sharks leader John Morris also carrying a 0-3 record before Saturday's win over the North Queensland Cowboys.

Sharks fans could see it coming though, with their team leading every game at some stage this season before just falling short when it mattered.

The win is just what they needed and should give them a shot of confidence going into a big local derby clash against the Dragons next weekend.

An articulate but relieved coach said after the Cowboys game he didn't want to focus too much on the outcome of this game, but it was stating the obvious that they needed the two points.

"We made it hard on ourselves last week being up at half time and didn't go on with it, but I was happy the ways the boys applied themselves this week at training and wouldn't take no for an answer tonight."

"It wasn't pretty, but a win is a win for us at this point in the season."

Off course every Sharks game isn't without drama. When Jesse Ramien dashed away on a 60-metre run to notch his second try of the night the Sharks had a good lead at 22-10 and fans started to dance, but a misplaced kick saw another Cowboys try and conversion narrowing the margin to just six and all went quiet again in Shire living rooms.

While there were a few anxious moments in the final quarter of the contest, the Sharks held on against a Cowboys team who were making mistakes, recording a crucial victory to get their 2020 campaign underway.

The game started after a slight hiccup when six Sharks players failed the mandatory temperature check and the coach thought he might have had to pull the boots on to field a team, luckily after a ten-minute break all passed.

The winning Cronulla team were well served on the right-hand side and fed some good ball by Shaun Johnson to the two try hero's Jesse Ramien and Ronaldo Mulitalo who was also hard to handle firing up last week against the Tigers.

Mulitalo, who is training to be a youth worker after football said having a calm leader like Wade Graham helps the younger players deal with the pressures of being 20 years old playing professional football.

A new name in the Sharks 17 is Souths junior Siosifa Talakai who was a standout for the Newtown Jets in their premiership success in 2019. Usually a backrower he can also cover for any injuries in the outside backs.

In North Queensland, the young Cronulla forwards kept up the pressure against a big, physical Cowboys pack, but their real coming of age is when they take on neighbours the St George Illawarra Dragons at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday.