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Sharks down Raiders 38-18 in Canberra

Cronulla Sharks

Cronulla have booked an NRL week one home finals berth against North Queensland after running over the top of a fiery Raiders outfit 38-18 at Canberra Stadium.
Sharks down Raiders 38-18 in Canberra
by AAP

By David Barbeler

CANBERRA, Sept 8 AAP - Cronulla have booked an NRL week one home finals berth against North Queensland after running over the top of a fiery Raiders outfit 38-18 at Canberra Stadium.

The victory may have come at a terrible cost for the Sharks however, after NSW Blues prop Andrew Fifita limped off the field in the 22nd minute with what appeared to be a lower leg complaint.

Sharks five-eighth Todd Carney and second-rower Anthony Tupou were late withdrawals before the match and were replaced by Chad Townsend and debutant Tupou Sopoaga respectively.

The 13th placed Raiders were just two points behind with ten minutes to play, but just like their NRL season they faded late to let in three tries and slump to their sixth straight loss.

After two tries apiece in the first half, the all-but meaningless match exploded in the 51st minute when Raiders centre Sami Sauiluma was sin binned for a professional foul after holding down Sosaia Feki following a Sharks break.

The Sharks, who were up just two points at the time, capitalised immediately through a try to halfback Jeff Robson to give themselves a 20-12 lead.

However things only got more heated between the two sides, Jarrod Croker becoming the first of three Raiders players to to be placed on report following a scuffle.

Prop Brett White and Josh Papalii were also put on report following dangerous tackles.

The Raiders also managed to transfer their aggression to attack, prop David Shillington crashing over for his second try of the match after failing to cross the white line in more than two years to reduce the deficit to two points.

However the Sharks finished strongly, interchange Tyrone Peachey rewarded for a stellar performance in the 70th minute when he danced his way through the Raiders to give his side a 26-18 lead.

The match was sealed in sensational fashion in the 75th minute when Sharks interchange Bryce Gibbs scored his first NRL try in eight years, before Beau Ryan also got a piece of the action in the 77th minute.

The win put the Sharks up to fifth place on the NRL ladder ahead of the Bulldogs going into next week's finals.




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