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Cronulla end Melbourne's unbeaten streak

Cronulla have ended Melbourne's unbeaten streak with a tough 12-10 victory at Toyota Stadium.
Cronulla end Melbourne's unbeaten streak
by NRL

Cronulla have ended Melbourne's unbeaten streak with a tough 12-10 victory at Toyota Stadium.

Despite trailing for long periods of the game, the Sharks kept on the Storm's toes and a late try to Jeremy Smith sealed a big win.

Captain Paul Gallen missed the game, but his replacement Smith produced a captain's knock in attack and defence to lead the Sharks to victory.
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The Storm had the better of an absorbing first half, keeping the Sharks away from the ball in the opening minutes.

After the Sharks spoiled one chance to score in the 7th minute, the Storm opened the scoring in the 13th, as a towering Cooper Cronk bomb was spilled by Isaac Gordon, with Dane Nielsen winning the race to the ball for a 6-0 lead.

But Gordon immediately atoned for his error, as the Storm spilled the kick-off, and in a lovely set play the Sharks spread to the right, with Matthew Wright creating space and sending Gordon over for his first try of 2012 to level the scores.

Both teams were giving nothing away as the game turned into a grind, but the Sharks cracked again in the 27th minute, with Billy Slater sending Matt Duffie over from a cut-out pass on the end of a long play to the left side.

After going into the break at 10-6 down, the Sharks came out with good intensity and energy after the break, but the Storm still held the control of the game.

They came close to levelling the scores in the 55th minute when Jeff Robson grubbered towards the posts and chased himself, only to be taken out by Billy Slater. After it was referred to the video referee Slater was sin-binned, but unfortunately the Sharks couldn't take advantage as they made two errors in their next 2 possessions.

It wasn't until the 71st minute when Jeremy Smith made the match winning play, going himself from dummy half on the last tackle and barging his way over to score. Todd Carney calmly slotted the tricky conversion in the swirling winds, and despite the Storm's best efforts the Sharks held on for a grinding win.

(Isaac Gordon, Jeremy Smith Tries; Todd Carney 2/2 Goals)
(Dane Nielsen, Matt Duffie Tries; Cameron Smith 1/2 Goals)

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