SHELLHARBOUR City Sharks have finished the final round of the VB South Coast Group 7 competition in strong fashion after overcoming a determined Jamberoo Superoos 42-22 at Kevin Walsh Oval on Sunday.
In a match that took on special significance for the Sharks as they hoped for Nowra-Bomaderry to upset Warilla Gorillas to hand them the minor premiership, found the Superoos, who were destined to miss the semi-finals by just one win, tough opposition in a spirited encounter.
The Sharks were first on the board in the seventh minute when centre Bronx Goodwin burrowed over, before his opposite number Josh Saunders busted the defence and sent winger Ben Barnard flying over. Jarrod Schoddes’ conversion gave the home side a 6-4 lead.
However that lead was short-lived when Goodwin notched his double in the 17th minute off a set play, but it paled into insignificance when half Jono Dallas and Saunders combined brilliantly for Saunders to race into a yawning gap near the line and the conversion put Jamberoo in front 12-8.
This seemed to spark the Sharks back into action and Jai Dormer scored right through the middle of the Jamberoo forwards and Goodwin converted to put his side back in front.
Jamberoo suffered a huge blow four minutes before halftime when Saunders went to the sin-bin after a scuffle with Goodwin and the Sharks made them pay right on halftime when replacement forward Daniel Bogolin scored under the posts and Goodwin’s conversion gave them a handy 20-12 halftime head.
The home side found themselves under enormous pressure from the restart when they lost the ball on the first tackle then conceded two successive penalties, but it wasn’t until the 53rd minute that the Sharks were able to extend their lead, when Michael McKinley scored in the corner and three minutes later Josh Cuthbert strode into a huge hole to score as the visitors looked comfortable at 30-12.
To their credit Jamberoo weren’t going to throw in the towel and when Goodwin went to the sin-bin, centres Tim Small and Saunders both scored great solo tries and at 30-22, it looked like spectators may have been in for a grandstand finish.
But the effort had taken an enormous amount out of the Superoos and the Sharks warmed up for next weekend’s qualifying semi-final through late tries to half Justin Rodrigues and Reed Harris.
Craig Stapleton, Hans Schuster, Harold Snell, Harris and Rodrigues has big games for the Sharks while Keiran Kellaway, in his 100th game for the club, Matt Coelho, Simon Maslanka, James Gilmore and Saunders never stopped trying in a gallant Superoo side.