Taking the Sharks By Storm
The Storm can't be stopped, not even with a failing bus. On their way to the game the bus failed to start and was stuck in the Brighton-Le-Sands Hotel parking lot, forcing the Storm players to hail taxis down and take them to the ground. This inconvenience wasn't enough to slow down the Storm as they took the game, winning over the Sharks.
The Storms kicking game was led by players Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk, which was a big part of the match that prevented the Sharks from being able to score any points or even build pressure. Despite their inability to put the game in their favor, Sharks coach Shane Flanagan refused to bring Ben Barba onto the field from the interchange bench until after 60 minutes of gameplay. At this point, the team had already fallen behind and were chasing points. Barba's playing was short lived as he was only on the field 10 minutes before suffering an ankle injury and returning to the bench.
On the Storms side, they ended up losing Dale Finucane in the final stages of the game due to a suspected broken arm. The game was already starting to die down with only a few minutes left and a big lead over the Sharks.
The game started in the Sharks favor with an early penalty at the six minute mark. The penalty was granted to Michael Gordon, managing to give the Sharks an early lead. However, it didn't last long as they returned a penalty to Storm with a late-tackle giving Storm an opportunity to attack. A pass from Cronk made it to Jesse Bromwich by knocking it off his hip, placing him only 10 metres from scoring without any competition to stop him.
Having already completed 9 out of 10 sets, Storm was able to create an even wider gap and grow their lead by 10 soon after. The big men of Storm were able to weave their way up the field rather easily, while the outside backs were capitalizing. A big wide shift and cut out pass managed to catch the Sharks left edge just short, which led to the final score of the half by Matt Duffie.
The opening half was rough for the Sharks. While they were able to keep the score relatively close at times, they were never able to quite catch up. They continually were unable to build pressure against Storm and scoring points was difficult. Around the half time mark Storm had taken a huge lead, leaving the score at 12-2.
Struggling to make a line break, the Sharks were left with Valentine Holmes to spark his side. Getting a grubber for himself as well as rekick from Munster's ball fumble, the Storm then withstood five repeat sets, which kept the Sharks tryless, while Barba watched on from the bench.
It was an overall rough game for the Sharks that resulted in a loss, while Storm will be celebrating their victory. Despite a bad experience with the bus before the game, Storm came with their game faces on and dominated.