Sharks smash Stingrays in Shellharbour Showdown

Sharks' Jesse Wilkes. Photo: RIGBY IMAGES

Sharks' Jesse Wilkes. Photo: RIGBY IMAGES

THE Shellharbour Sharks have returned to the top of the Group Seven ladder, after thrashing the Stingrays of Shellharbour 82-nil at Ron Costello Oval on Sunday.

The Sharks, who have won all four Shellharbour Showdowns, took just 45 seconds to score the match’s opening try – when Sam Clune put Harold Snell into a gap before the lock hit his five-eight with a return pass to score.

Carroll converted to make it 6-nil after two minutes – an ominous sign for the visitors.

Three minutes later, Carroll put fullback Jason Gray over for the first of his six tries.

Carroll converted for 12-nil.

Gray then returned the favour in the ninth minute, putting his number seven over the score – with the latter adding the extras.

Sharks' Jason Gray. Photo: RIGBY IMAGES

Sharks' Jason Gray. Photo: RIGBY IMAGES

Tries to Gray, Carroll, Kade Sampson followed in quick succession, as the hosts led 32-nil after 20 minutes.

Hooker Kiran Tranter got in on the act in the 31st minute, after a break by Clune, before Gray completed his hat-trick just before half-time – as Abed Atallah’s men led 44-nil at the break.

The second half’s scoring was started six minutes after the resumption when centre Bronx Goodwin ran onto a sharp pass from the reigning Michael Cronin Medal winner Carroll.

The fleet-footed Gray then beat five defenders on his way to score his fourth in the 48th minute.

When winger Kye Brooker scored his first, the scoreline moved out to 60-nil – with 24 minutes remaining.

Back-rower James Ralphs added to the Stingrays’ misery with a four-pointer of his own before Gray grabbed his fifth in the 67th minute.

Clune then grabbed his second in the 73rd minute before Gray scored the match’s top try – running 70 metres off a kick return and beating numerous defenders – to bring up his sixth try of the afternoon.

Carroll’s conversion, bringing his personal tally to 30 points, helped the score finish at 84-nil.

The win, which sees the Sharks leap frog Kiama into first on the ladder, also marked the debut of Shellharbour junior Jesse Wilkes.