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Sharks respond to Paul Gallen's criticism with stunning victory over Brisbane

Brisbane 22 Cronulla 24

On the gallop: Broncos strongman David Hala crashes over for one of his two tries.

On the gallop: Broncos strongman David Hala crashes over for one of his two tries. Photo: Getty Images

Paul Gallen said before kick-off he did not expect a positive backlash from his team-mates over his controversial comments five days earlier.

What he got, instead, was a miracle.

Bad Luke: Sharks forward Luke Lewis has a facial wound attended to.

Bad Luke: Sharks forward Luke Lewis has a facial wound attended to. Photo: Getty Images

Time
80.00
Team
BRI
Score
22
Team
CRO
Score
24
Brisbane versus Cronulla
View Match Statistics
Players Vidot, Glenn, Hala(2) Tries 4 Tries 4 Players Gagan, Gallen, Carney, Feki
Players Hunt 3/4 (75%) Conversions 3 Conversions 4 Players Gordon 4/4 (100%)
Players Penalty goals 0 Penalty goals 0 Players
Players Field goals 0 Field goals 0 Players

With 26 minutes remaining at Suncorp Stadium, a Sharks side that had not scored since mid-May trailed Brisbane 22-0

Four tries and 20 minutes later, they had a scarcely believable 24-22 lead which they clung to for their first win in six games.

Rookie Jacob Gagan's 55th-minute try was Cronulla's first in 324 minutes. They had to wait just three more minutes for their second.

Anthony Griffin's side established a commanding lead just after half-time when interchange forward David Hala arrowed at the legs of the goal-line defence and touched down for a try approved by video referees Jared Maxwell and Henry Perenara. Halfback Ben Hunt, outstanding in the first half, added the extras.

The Sharks had not scored since mid-May and for much of Friday night's game, it looked as if the drought might continue.

Even when Todd Carney's kick put Gagan over with 25 minutes left, all indications were that the drought-breaker would be a consolation effort.

In the 59th minute, captain Gallen - who had criticised the discipline of his teammates on radio five days earlier - powered over from close range.

And another six minutes elapsed before Gallen went close and halfback Carney crossed on the next tackle, one off the ruck.

With six minutes left, Bronco Dale Copley dropped a bomb, Sharks winger Sosaia Feki scored and Michael Gordon's conversion edged the underdogs In front.

Brisbane led 16-0 at the end of a first half Cronulla stared positively.

Second-rower Luke Lewis' start to the game was no so positive, however. He clashed heads with Broncos hooker Jake Granville, came off with concussion and returned only briefly.

During that time, the Australia international was involved in a dust-up with Justin Hodges but he soon began to feel after-effects of the earlier collision and came off again, with the Sharks announcing he would not return.

Hodges almost scored from his own kick in the 10th minute but passed to Wade Graham, who intercepted near the Cronulla line after apparently calling for he ball.

Peter Sharp's side put together some dazzling passing almost scored not long afterwards, with replacement Tinarau Arona hauled down short.

And Brisbane responded with their first try - Ben Hunt's cut-out pass putting winger Daniel Vidot over in the 15th minute, in the south-eastern corner.

The second try saw Hunt send Alex Glenn roaring through a gap in mid-field to score between the posts.

And it was Hunt again in the 35th minute, offloading near the tryline to replacement Hala, who did well to take a difficult pass before diving over.

Hunt landed two of his three first half conversion attempts.

CRONULLA 24 (T Carney S Feki J Gagan P Gallen tries M Gordon 4 goals) bt BRISBANE 22 (D Hala 2 A Glenn D Vidot tries B Hunt 3 goals) at Suncorp Stadium. Referee: Gavin Badger, Adam Gee. Crowd: 24,825.

23 comments so far

  • I think tonight's result might just indicate where Bennett will be toting his clipboard in 2015! Bad omens for Bronco's coach Anthony Griffin and also for the Knights who will likely lose both Bennett and Boyd! Brisbane's owners will almost certainly be furious about tonight's loss where their team surrendered a 22-0 lead early in the 2nd half against a team (up til this game) running stone motherless last!

    Commenter
    curaeus
    Date and time
    June 27, 2014, 10:28PM
    • As a lifelong Knights supporter, I'd be more than happy to see the backs of Bennett and Boyd. Bennett has the worst record of any coach in our club's history and Boyd shows week after week that he isn't interested in putting in any effort for the Knights. The broncos can have them.

      Commenter
      Ben
      Location
      Newcastle
      Date and time
      June 28, 2014, 7:50AM
    • So when Bennett returns the Bronc's gona have Barba,Boyd,Millford at fulback?Undoubtabley Bennett will also sign some aging "stars" as well as that what he did at Knights.Could get a bit congested one would think.
      Bennett could stay and help Knights rebuild as he went there for one reason only (the big $$)and apart from one good phase late last year hasn't done a great job to date there=unfinished business.Time he built a legacy there by showing some loyalty to the guys playing for him and not move on to the next big $$ offer but that aint likely.

      Commenter
      Jacko
      Location
      Warrioville
      Date and time
      June 28, 2014, 8:57AM
    • Exactly my thinking also curaeus, having 24 points put on them in 26 mins by a team who had not scored a point in the equivalent game time of four full games plus 2mins and by a team whose captain publicly states their coach doesn't really have his heart in it!

      Commenter
      Reality Bites
      Date and time
      June 28, 2014, 11:45AM
  • Absolutely stunning Sharks. It shows what self belief can do.

    Commenter
    greg@burra
    Location
    Burra NSW
    Date and time
    June 27, 2014, 10:29PM
    • I guess the Shark's don't need a new coach this week.

      Commenter
      LOL
      Date and time
      June 27, 2014, 10:29PM
      • Obviously the coach was responsible for the pathetic season up to this game.Then the players reacted to the adversity and delivered a great win last night.

        Commenter
        Party Stooge
        Date and time
        June 28, 2014, 7:04AM
    • Can't believe the arrogance shown by the Broncos tonight. They shut up shop at 22 nil thinking they had it in the bag and all the urgency went out of their play.
      Absolutely pathetic effort and i'm a bit ashamed at calling myself a Broncos fan after that capitulation and the raising of the white flag

      Commenter
      col
      Date and time
      June 27, 2014, 11:51PM
      • As a Warrior fan I kinda know what the feeling lol.

        Commenter
        Jacko
        Location
        Warrioville
        Date and time
        June 28, 2014, 8:58AM
      • col, I wouldn't call it arrogance. Give some credit to the Sharks and in particular those pin point bombs by Carney which I believe won them the game. I too am a Bronco supporter and am equally disappointed by the result.

        Commenter
        DP
        Location
        GC
        Date and time
        June 28, 2014, 9:17AM

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