NRL Match Report: Raiders suffer defeat to Sharks
The Raiders have gone down 24-16 to the Cronulla Sharks at GIO Stadium in front of 11,407 on Sunday afternoon.
An early raid in the attacking 20 for the Sharks went unrewarded with a massive Jack Wighton hit on Matt Moylan on the goal line dislodging the ball.
In the next set of six the Raiders surged up the field and a deft grubber through the line allowed Nick Cotric to sneak around Sharks fullback Valentine Holmes and ground the ball to open the scoring eight minutes in.
Just two minutes later and the scores were level with Holmes defusing a spiraling bomb and running 80 metres to score under the posts.
The Sharks hit the front through a Chad Townsend penalty goal with 17 minutes left to play in the first half.
With just over 11 minutes in the first half remaining, Josh Papalii hit Blake Austin with a lovely short ball with the five-eighth powering over from close range to regain the lead.
Austin was forced from the field after injuring his ankle as he scored the try with the five-eighth unable to return in the game.
A charge down from Elliott Whitehead and a 30 metre burst from the Englisman ended up with a penalty for the Raiders which skipper Jarrod Croker converted the penalty goal to extend the lead to six.
Another penalty within range and again Croker was able to add the extra two and make the score 16-8 at the half time break.
The Sharks thought they had their second try after 13 minutes in the second half with a try saving tackle from Ata Hingano on Sosaia Feki saving the day.
The Sharks didn't have to wait long to make amends with a James Segeyaro grubber being tapped back by Holmes for debutant Jack Williams to score and reduce the gap to two.
Some big defence midway through the second half kept the Raiders in the lead with the left edge keeping out Sharks winger Edrick Lee and taking him over the sideline.
With only 14 minutes remaining in the match and a lovely cut out ball from Joseph Paulo gave Feki a second chance which he took to score in the corner and regain the lead for the Sharks.
The Sharks wrapped up the game in the final two minutes with an intercept from Segeyaro who linked up with Holmes to grab his second in the corner and complete the eight point win.
Raiders 16 (Tries: Cotric, Austin Goals: Croker 4/4) def by Sharks 24 (Tries: Holmes 2, Williams, Feki Goals: Townsend 4/5)