Sharks bite back in second half to take points

SHELLHARBOUR City has scored back-to-back Group 7 Rugby League victories, coming from behind to defeat Albion Park-Oak Flats 28-14 on Sunday.

The Eagles, minus halfback Matt Carroll, led 14-6 at the break, before a resurgent Sharks forward pack spearheaded their side to a win at Centenary Field.

The visitors racked up 22 unanswered points during the second stanza.

Shellharbour registered first points in just the fifth minute when back-rower Ryan Schuster hurtled on to a deft short ball and barged over for 6-0. 

Shortly after, overly ambitious Sharks attack while deep inside their own territory resulted in a turnover of possession.

Park veteran Sean Jenkins made them pay, squaring the ledger.

The parry and thrust between the two outfits continued, before a speculator of a flick pass was plucked out of the air by Eagles winger Blake Jones, who ran 70 metres for an intercept four-pointer.

A show-and-go from Park hooker Dean Gray, displaying trademark nous caught the defence napping and afforded the home side an eight-point half-time advantage.

As the respective teams grappled for ascendancy upon the resumption, the Eagles’ failure to find touch from a penalty kick, after a potential Shellharbour try was denied due to a double-movement, proved to be a major momentum-shifter.

The Sharks forced a goal-line drop-out from the ensuing set of six, and the opposition’s inability to wrap up the ball enabled Justin Rodrigues to storm across the stripe.

As Shellharbour’s forwards repeatedly bent the back of the defensive line, they reaped the rewards of said hard graft, as well as some sub-par defence at the money end of the field.

Rodrigues and Ben Stratton both touched down in short order to regain the lead.

Sharks halfback Hans Schuster’s four-pointer capped off his team’s dominant second 40 minutes, weaving through some flimsy attempts at tackles late in the contest.

Craig Stapleton, Ryan Schuster, Rodrigues and Jai Dormer were the standouts for Shellharbour, while Ben Dunster, Chris Rowles, Simon Harris and Jenkins were the best for the Park.

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