Sharks shock Storm 17-14

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    Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has questioned his team’s hunger to defend their NRL title in a stinging assessment of their performance in their 17-14 loss to Cronulla.

    The Sharks stopped the Storm’s return to the top of the NRL ladder and helped their own top-four hopes in an enthralling match at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon.

    Moving to sixth, Cronulla proved their defence was title-worthy, holding the Storm up over the tryline three times and preventing a match-winner with the dying minutes uncannily similar to their 2016 grand final decider.

    Bellamy was scathing of his team’s poor ball control and game management in the first half, hinting that heads could roll before their Friday night clash with Parramatta.

    “It looks like we lack hunger at the moment,” Bellamy said.

    “We looked like we started the game waiting for things to happen rather than making them happen and I’m not quite sure why that would be.

    “We will need to change that if we’re going to go anywhere in this competition.”

    The Storm trailed 13-4 at halftime with hooker Jayden Brailey and Valentine Holmes both scoring as the Sharks searched for just their second win in Melbourne since 2009.

    The home side pegged it back to 13-10 through Billy Slater, who announced his retirement midweek, running on to a Cameron Munster grubber.

    But Munster then a threw a loose pass that led to the Sharks’ final try.

    It was scooped up by centre Jesse Ramien and despite being brought down by Josh Addo-Carr after a 60m dash, Cronulla winger Josh Dugan took the ball from dummy-half and burst through some soft defence.

    Will Chambers set up winger Suliasi Vunivalu for his second try in the 72nd minute to pave the way for an exciting finale but the visitors held firm.

    “I’m concerned and I’m disappointed,” Bellamy said.

    “It’s what we do from now on is what matters.

    “We need to decide where we are going from here and put some actions to it.”

    Further souring the loss, veteran second-rower Ryan Hoffman looks to have played his last NRL game after suffering a serious hamstring injury later in the game.

    Sharks coach Shane Flanagan, meanwhile, was all smiles after arresting a two-game losing streak.

    “There were parts of it that were really courageous and really skilful and there was probably a block in the second half where we defended our tryline that ended up winning the game for us,” Flanagan said.

    “I think we just won more crucial moments than the Storm did.”

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • August 13th 2018 @ 7:55am
      RoryStorm said | August 13th 2018 @ 7:55am | ! Report

      Ummm should read #1 jumper.

    • August 13th 2018 @ 8:25am
      Crosscoder said | August 13th 2018 @ 8:25am | ! Report

      Sharks drop their load ,when it comes to playing lesser light teams.Then come up to the mark, when they are playing “the big boys”.
      The life of a Shark’s fan,is not an easy one.As much pain off the field as on.

    • Roar Rookie

      August 13th 2018 @ 11:09am
      Joe said | August 13th 2018 @ 11:09am | ! Report

      Was the usual tough game against the Sharkies. They always turn up for the Storm and the battles have been good in recent years. I’ve said previously they’re flying nicely under the radar and will upset some of the high fliers in the finals. Its sad to see Hoffman go out like this but I actually think it will benefit the team. I think Stimson should be starting and they need a bigger body on the bench. Nelson should provide impact off the bench like he did last year unless they get a fit Kasiano back in time. Jessie and Glasby should start to take the sting out of the opposing team. Not sure what’s happened to Brandon Smith but he provided spark off the bench which isn’t happening at the moment. Not too worried about this game as the Storm were pretty terrible but still managed to make line breaks and scoring chances which were stopped by the brilliant Sharks defence. Reminded me of the last regular season game against the Sharks 2016 where the Storm comfortably beat them but the Sharks actually made more line breaks and scoring chances and sure enough they took those chances in the GF to win it. One thing that did worry me is Bellamy saying he’ll look at the halves again. Jahrome Huges was one of the better players out there, made breaks and half breaks and his kicking game was spot on as was his defence. It would be a huge mistake to drop him. He needs to look at Slater who was making low percentage plays and tell him to relax and enjoy his last few and not overdo it. Smith also needs to trust Hughes a bit more and not try and do everything with Munster who is now well marked.

      • August 13th 2018 @ 12:24pm
        kk said | August 13th 2018 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

        Good summary, Joe.

        Smith and Slater would benefit from a week off. The next six straight may be beyond them
        if they were to go undefeated for the remainder of the season. Their recovery times from
        contact is most noticeable.

      • August 13th 2018 @ 4:38pm
        Albo said | August 13th 2018 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

        Joe , I had tipped the Storm to be going back to back for most of this year, expecting them to really click into full gear by now. But it seems they are still just missing Cronk way too much. Smith is slowing down and creating precious little this year, and Slater is turning into a mistake-a-thon trying to over play his hand to make up for the creativity loss.. Both these greats need a good spell, maybe a permanent one ? Others are way out of form. Vunivalu is terrible defensively and is being targeted by all teams now. Kaufusi works hard but is no longer making breaks without Cronk putting him through holes. Asofa Solomona is playing little time and making little impact compared to earlier in the year ? The whole pack is battling to compete and looks tired. Only Munster & Ado- Carr seem to have retained consistent form. Not sure even Bellamy can turn their fortunes around this time?

    • August 13th 2018 @ 1:32pm
      ferret said | August 13th 2018 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

      Good tough game yesterday and the Sharks deserved to win. But in my view the Storm have a lot more improvement in them from yesterday’s effort, whereas the Sharks were very tough but close to their limit.
      Not saying the Sharkies can’t win it, ‘cos GFs and hard fought affairs, but I still rank them below Bunnies, Chooks and the Storm.

      • August 13th 2018 @ 6:35pm
        Greg said | August 13th 2018 @ 6:35pm | ! Report

        Not sure how you come to that conclusion….the Storm had an extra six sets than the Sharks, completed at a higher %, had more runs, more linebreaks, more offloads, higher effective tackle %, less errors, and a huge 12-5 penalty count in their favour….and you’re saying the Sharks can’t improve on that game? If either of those two teams have more improvement in them it’s the Sharks, the Storm should have won that game easily but just couldn’t score, that’s four losses in their last five games against the Sharks

        • August 14th 2018 @ 1:14pm
          nearkurnell said | August 14th 2018 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

          Well said, Greg.

    • Roar Rookie

      August 13th 2018 @ 7:36pm
      souvalis said | August 13th 2018 @ 7:36pm | ! Report

      The game definitely evened up once Wade Graham left it…he stays in Sharks win by more..Storm forwards seemed to have played bruised..

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