The resumption of the 2020 NRL season has seen its fair share of sensationalism.
Shaun Johnson and Sione Katoa have great chemistry and I hope to see more of these two players combining for the rest of year.
The pair helped Cronulla beat Canterbury 20-18 at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday night.
Shaun Johnson threw a very low ball, which Katoa had to pick up at his toes. This led to Katoa’s third career double after picking up an earlier try in the first half, set up by Chad Townsend.
Later, Johnson – with a perfect grubber kick – set up Katoa’s first career hat trick.
This combination was very good at the start of the season with Johnson setting up two tries for Katoa against South Sydney in Round 1.
There were a lot of changes in this game from both sides with Matt Moylan returning after missing last week’s game against the Dragons. Also, Andrew Fifita started on the bench, Bryson Goodwin returned to the club where he made his debut in the Sharks, and Brandon Wakeham came in for Lachlan Lewis.
The Sharks’ halves have been put under a lot of pressure and both halves produced two try assists. One of those assists was a marvellous chip kick by Chad Townsend for Bryson Goodwin in the corner.
Johnson was very good against the Doggies with two try assists. He produced kicks to force the Dogs to come out of a corner plus one forced goal-line drop-out. He ran the ball a lot more, which is very good to see if you’re a Sharks fan.
Lock Adam Elliott produced a wonderful kick for five-eighth Kieran Foran to score under the posts in the 56th minute. Wakeham set up a pass for fullback Will Hopoate to score in the 27th minute.
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak produced a very hard hit on Matt Moylan, which looked like Jorge Taufua. Moylan was sent for a head injury assessment straight after that with blood also coming out of his nose.
Jesse Ramien was very good with 175 running metres. Aaron Woods, in his 49-minute stint, ran for 176 metres. Andrew Fifita, starting on the bench, finished with 109 running metres.
The halftime score was six-all with the full-time score being 20-18, which could’ve been different, but a try to Christian Crichton made the margin only two points.
The Sharks finished the game with 52 per cent of possession, an 85 per cent completion rate, three penalties conceded and eight errors.
The Bulldogs also finished the game with eight errors and 39 missed tackles. Both sides suffered sin-bins to Briton Nikora and Brandon Wakeham.
Raymond Faitala-Mariner made the most tackles with 48 and Christian Crichton ran for the most metres on the field with 188. Aaron Woods was the second best with 176.
The Sharks face Manly in Round 7 following the big news that Tom Trbojevic may be out for the next six weeks with another hamstring injury. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs face the ninth-placed Tigers, who are coming off a 36-20 win over the Cowboys.