Sharks stun Roosters in try-fest

Credit: Tom Campbell

The Rockingham Sharks produced a stunning second-half fightback to record a 42-36 win over the Fremantle Roosters in Round Six of the Smarter Than Smoking Premiership on Saturday.

Having trailed 32-6 after 33 minutes, the writing looked on the wall for the Sharks, but last year’s Minor Premiers responded with 34 unanswered points to tip the game in their favour.

Some superb goal-kicking from Jack Wray guided the Sharks over the line as the Roosters ended the game with 11 men.

“We didn’t panic. We didn’t need to chase the game,” Rockingham Coach Darren Shaw said.

“We managed to keep our momentum going, got our noses in front and held on in the end.”

In a top of the table clash, it was the Roosters who struck first – enforcer Brad Gibson tumbling over to give the hosts an early lead.

The Sharks are unbeaten since the ANZAC Challenge and soon showed why – Kieren Crowe crashing over after some good work out of dummy half from Andrew Jeffery.

Fresh from putting 44 points on the Joondalup Giants last week, the Roosters then went on a rampage – scoring five tries in 17 minutes to take a commanding 32-6 lead.

It soon became a question of how many for the Roosters.

Young Sharks utility Will Smith grabbed his second try of the season on the stroke of half-time to keep his side within reach.

Whatever Shaw said to his troops at the break had the desired impact, as the Sharks came out with intent – Tevita Pomale touching down within a minute of the restart.

It would be the first of a 16-minute hat-trick for the Rockingham centre as the momentum of the game started to shift in favour of the visitors.

Down by four, and sensing blood, back-rower Ezra Taomia scored to give the Sharks their first lead of the afternoon, before Josh Jerome’s 40/20 set Wray up to give his side an eight-point buffer.

Manihera Eden grabbed his third try to complete his hat-trick for the Roosters, but Wray slotted a penalty goal three minutes from time to secure the unlikeliest of wins.

Some ill-discipline cost Fremantle late on, with three players sin-binned in the final 20 minutes.

Roosters Manager Zac Speir was left scratching his head after the loss.

“We had a good command on that game and coming into that second half the heads were still high. I haven’t quite worked out what happened yet – Rockingham came through and got the goods in the end,” he said.

The Roosters will look to bounce back next week when they host the South Perth Lions, while the Sharks take on the North Beach Sea Eagles.

In other results around the league, Joondalup snapped a two-game losing streak with a hard-fought 30-22 win over South Perth, while North Beach maintained their strong form with a 56-12 win at the Willagee Bears.