Sharks open their 2014 account in style

The Cronulla Sharks have recorded their first win of 2014, defeating the New Zealand Warriors in emphatic style, 37-6, in front of a crowd of 11,307 at Remondis Stadium.

In what can only be described as a good old fashioned thrashing, the Sharks ran in seven tries, highlighted by a four try exhibition by Sharks winger Nathan Stapleton, before the Warriors scored late to deny the Sharks a clean sheet.

The first ten minutes set the tone for what would come for the rest of the match. Two unforced errors from the Warriors as well as two cheap penalties ensured that the Sharks had all the early possession. The early Sharks dominance culminated in Nathan Stapleton scoring the first try of the match in the corner after taking a long cut out pass from Todd Carney to make the score 4-0.

The Warriors continued to give away penalties in dangerous positions leading to a Tinirau Arona try in the 16th minute. When Sam Tagataese went over in the 23rd minute to make the score 16-0, the signs were looking extremely ominous for a Warriors side that looked disinterested at times during the match. In fact, the Warriors first real chance on the Sharks line didn't end up coming until the 38th minute.

If there was any argument that the first half wasn't one way traffic, there was no denying that the second was a complete and utter mauling. The Warriors had no answers to the Sharks attack as they opened their second half account with a Nathan Stapleton try in the 46th minute. Tries to Blake Ayshford in the 52nd minute, as well as a third and fourth try to Nathan Stapleton in the 57th and 70th minutes, ensured the Sharks would get the two points. Todd Carney capped off the win with a 69th minute field goal to complete the 31 point victory.

Manu Vatuvei did finally get over for a Warriors consolation try in the last minute of the game but it would make no difference given their inept performance at Remondis Stadium this afternoon. The only shining light for the Warriors was an epic defensive display from Nathan Friend who made 65 tackles during the match.

The Sharks will gain a lot of much needed confidence from their performance this afternoon, and with their leader Paul Gallen still to return, the Cronulla faithful will have reason to still be confident for a good showing over the rest of the season. The Warriors on the other hand will head home wondering what went wrong and needing to find a way to turn it around before a match up with the in-form Canterbury Bulldogs next Sunday at Eden Park.


Match Details
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 37 New Zealand Warriors 6
Venue: Remondis Stadium
Crowd: 11307
Halftime Score: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 16 New Zealand Warriors 0

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Todd Carney
2 points - Andrew Fifita
1 point - Nathan Stapleton

CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS (37)
Tries: Nathan Stapleton (4), Tinirau Arona, Sam Tagataese, Blake Ayshford
Field Goals: Todd Carney (1/1)
Conversions: Michael Gordon (4/7)
Penalty Goals:

NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS (6)
Tries: Manu Vatuvei
Field Goals:
Conversions: Shaun Johnson (1/1)
Penalty Goals:


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

LATE MAIL: Warriors - Feleti Mateo starts at lock forward in place of the suspended Sione Lousi. Sebastine Ikahihifo onto the bench

LATE MAIL: Sharks - It's been confirmed that Jeff Robson will make his return this afternoon. Daniel Holdsworth is OUT. Prior is also OUT, being replaced in the starting side by Tupou Sopoaga. Chris Heighington also moves back to the bench with Tinirau Arone coming into the starting side.

Welcome to Saturday afternoon football. Today's match up sees the Cronulla Sharks taking on the New Zealand Warriors from Remondis Stadium. The Sharks have had an injury ravaged start to the season and although it isn't panic stations just yet, another loss today will see them already losing touch with the top teams. The Warriors, fresh off an amazing win over the Tigers last week, will be hoping to keep up the momentum with a third straight victory.

This week is also Men of League Heritage Round and a time of year when fans take the time to reminisce about the ‘good old days'. With excitement machines Todd Carney and Shaun Johnson on the field today for the Sharks and Warriors respectively, here's hoping for a great match up that we can all talk about for years to come.

The two teams are coming out onto Remondis Stadium. Kick off is only a few minutes away.

KICK OFF at Remondis Stadium. The Sharks get us underway.

2: The Sharks let the first bomb of the match bounce. A bit risky there.

4: PENALTY Sharks. Warriors with a hand on the ball.

4: The Sharks with a chance. Wright chooses to put in a grubber for himself when he perhaps could have scored by running the ball.

5: PENALTY Warriors. Now they have their first chance of the match.

5: UNFORCED ERROR NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Nathan Friend makes an unforced error.

Friend throws a forward pass from dummy half.

7: UNFORCED ERROR NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Konrad Hurrell makes an unforced error.

Hurrell knocks on trying to get in the Sharks faces defensively. The Sharks looking good when going to the left.

8: UNFORCED ERROR CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Andrew Fifita makes an unforced error.

A knock on only metres from the Warriors line.

9: The Warriors put in a deep kick but it goes dead in goal.

9: PENALTY Sharks. The Warriors have been caught inside the 10.

10: It has been the Sharks with all the early possession here.

10: TRY CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Scored by Nathan Stapleton. Kick to come.

Carney throws a LONG cut out pass to put Stapleton into the corner for the opening try.

12: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon unsuccessful.

Gordon just misses from the sideline.

13: Now it is a Sharks PENALTY and they will start their set inside the Warriors 30 metre line.

14: UNFORCED ERROR CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Andrew Fifita makes an unforced error.

Fifita knocks on for the second time only metres from the Warriors line.

15: Neilsen throws the ball over the sideline as the Warriors look to spread it wide.

15: PENALTY Sharks - once again it is a set starting deep in the Warriors half.

16: VIDEO REFEREE - Arona may have just powered over under the sticks for the Sharks.

16: TRY CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Scored by Tinirau Arona. Kick to come.

Arona JUST gets over the line for a try.

17: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.

Easy conversion for Gordon.

18: A good chase from the Sharks and Tomkins is pinned 10 metres out from his own line.

19: UNFORCED ERROR NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Chad Townsend makes an unforced error.

Townsend half gets through a hole but drops it in the process.

20: Carney establishing his dominance on this game early. He is in everything for the Sharks.

21: A poor kick from Johnson. Neither here nor there and it lands straight on Wright's chest.

21: Morris is down injured and it is a PENALTY against Nathan Friend for a high tackle.

22: The Sharks once again in a dangerous attacking position.

23: A cross field kick by Carney is tapped dead in goal by the Warriors. Line drop out and MORE pressure on the Warriors line.

23: UNFORCED ERROR CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Ricky Leutele makes an unforced error.

A knock on trying to make a pass.

24: The Sharks with 75% possession so far.

24: The Warriors get a much needed PENALTY and fail to find touch. That is a coach killer.

25: Robson puts in a grubber for the Sharks but it is way too heavy.

26: TRY CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Scored by Sam Tagataese. Kick to come.

On the back of a Warriors knock on, Tagataese charges through the Warriors defence for a try.

27: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.

Gordon extends the lead to 16.

29: A good set after points as the Sharks put a kick into the Warriors corner.

30: VIDEO REFEREE - The Sharks go over but it looks like a knock on.

30: UNFORCED ERROR CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Jeff Robson makes an unforced error.

NO TRY - Knock on against Jeff Robson.

32: Johnson puts up a bomb. A Warriors player bats it back but it goes straight into the Sharks hands.

32: PENALTY Sharks - It's another opportunity for the Sharks inside the Warriors half.

33: UNFORCED ERROR CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Jonathan Wright makes an unforced error.

Johnathan Wright knocks it on with the try line clear in front of him.

34: Michael Gordon takes a bomb under pressure and makes a half break up field.

35: PENALTY Sharks as the Warriors are caught offside. They are 25 metres out from the Warriors line.

36: A poor grubber from Robson to end the set and Tomkins picks it up. And now they receive a PENALTY for the Sharks being offside.

38: The Warriors first real chance of the half ends with the Sharks being trapped in their own in goal.

39: A loose pass from the Warriors and Isaac De Gois jumps on it to get the Sharks out of danger.

40: Dane Neilsen throws a pass over the sideline for the second time in the match.

40: HALF TIME: The Sharks lead the Warriors 16-0. It has been one of the most one sides halves you are ever likely to see. All Sharks at this point but the Warriors will have a strong breeze at their back in the second half.

40: SECOND HALF is UNDERWAY at Remondis. Can the Warriors get back into the match?

42: The Warriors knock it on on their first set. Not the start they would have wanted.

42: UNFORCED ERROR NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Glen Fisiiahi makes an unforced error.

Carney puts up a cross field bomb but Fisiiahi can't take it. Sharks scrum 10 metres from the Warriors line.

44: Hurrell picks up a kick in his own half and does well to get into the field of play.

46: TRY CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Scored by Nathan Stapleton. Kick to come.

Stapleton takes a long Carney cut out pass and scores the TRY.

48: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon unsuccessful.

Gordon hits the upright from the sideline.

49: Carney puts up a poor kick. A Warriors player picks it up but he is offside.

50: A grubber behind the line for Johnathan Wright but Glen Fisiiahi taps it dead and it's a line drop out.

52: TRY CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Scored by Blake Ayshford. Kick to come.

The Sharks with a set play down their right hand side and Ayshford finds enough space to go over.

53: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.

Gordon slots the conversion.

55: Carney rolls a kick over the sideline and will make the Warriors bring it out of their own end.

56: UNFORCED ERROR NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Feleti Mateo makes an unforced error.

Mateo drops it and the Sharks pick it up and make a break down field.

57: TRY CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Scored by Nathan Stapleton. Kick to come.

Robson puts up a cross field kick. Stapleton plucks it out of the air and has his hat-trick.

59: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon unsuccessful.

Another sideline attempt and he has missed it.

60: Tomkins makes a good run out of his own end after a Sharks kick on the last tackle.

61: Very poor bomb from the Warriors on the last. Gordon takes it under no pressure at all.

62: POSSESSION: Sharks 65% - 35% Warriors.

62: UNFORCED ERROR CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Chris Heighington makes an unforced error.

A forward pass however it did seem a bit dubious.

64: PENALTY WARRIORS - they will start their set 10 metres out from the Sharks line.

65: VIDEO REFEREE - a possible try in the corner to Manu Vatuvei as he chased through on a grubber.

65: UNFORCED ERROR NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Manu Vatuvei makes an unforced error.

NO TRY - Vatuvei has knocked it on while trying to ground it. 20 metre restart to the Sharks.

66: Wade Graham tries a tricky little chip on the last tackle but it goes into touch.

68: It's another poor bomb from Shaun Johnson. It just hasn't been his day.

69: SUCCESSFUL FIELD GOAL CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Field goal attempt by Todd Carney successful.

Todd Carney kicks a field goal which seems to have surprised everybody.

70: UNFORCED ERROR CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Andrew Fifita makes an unforced error.

Fifita gifts the Warriors possession 10 metres out from their own line.

70: TRY CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Scored by Nathan Stapleton. Kick to come.

Carney takes an intercept on his own line. He runs 40 metres himself before giving it to Stapleton to finish it off.

72: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.

Gordon adds the two from in front.

74: The Warriors go left and something looks to be on but a short kick from Neilsen falls right into Nathan Stapleton's arms.

75: UNFORCED ERROR CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Michael Gordon makes an unforced error.

Gordon knocks on trying to run through and take an attacking Sharks bomb.

76: There seems to be no fluency in the Warriors attack. It all looks to be happening in slow motion for them.

77: Johnathan Wright tries to get on the outside of the Warriors defence but puts a foot in touch.

78: UNFORCED ERROR CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Wade Graham makes an unforced error.

Graham goes for the unlikely intercept but drops it. Warriors with perhaps their last chance to score points.

80: TRY NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Scored by Manu Vatuvei. Kick to come.

A barnstorming run from Sebastine Ikahihifo and a few passes later Manu Vatuvei scores a consolation try in the corner.

80: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS
Conversion attempt by Shaun Johnson successful.

Johnson with a good conversion from the sideline but it will make no difference.

80: FULL TIME: A completely one sided game. The Cronulla Sharks have run out big winners at Remondis Stadium, winning 37-6 over the New Zealand Warriors.

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