Cronulla Sharks beat Melbourne Storm 14-4 in a bad-tempered game at the Southern Cross Group Stadium.
Chad Townsend opened the scoring through the boot early for Cronulla and then played a part in the only try of the game when Gallen’s offload fell to Townsend. He spread the play right to Edrick Lee who strolled in at the corner.
The Storm replied when they finally took advantage of the lopsided penalty count and added a penalty through Joe Stimson to make the scores 8-2 at half-time.
Townsend once again opened the scoring from his boot in the second half. With Cameron Smith in the bin for dissent, his first ever ten-minute stint on the sidelines, Joe Stimson brought Melbourne back to within six points through a penalty.
Townsend yet again pushed Cronulla out to an eight-point lead when Jesse Bromwich was caught offside by James Segeyaro.
Melbourne continued to be repelled by the Sharks. Even when Ryan Hoffman burst through a gap, he was bundled into touch by the covering Cronulla defenders.
Penalties were continuing to be blown as the count topped thirty. The 30th penalty gave Townsend his fifth kick of the game.
In a game that became a complete farce in the final few minutes as players gave penalties away for fun, the game ended with the players all scrapping in the centre of the field, a metaphor for the game as a whole.
Sharks: Holmes, Feki, Ramien, Leutele, Lee, Hodkinson, Townsend, Fifita, Brailey, Prior, Lewis, Graham, Gallen; Interchanges: Capewell, Segeyaro, Seumanufagai, Paulo
Tries: Lee; Goals: Townsend 5
Sin-bin: Lewis – professional foul
Storm: Slater, Vunivalu, Chambers, Scott, Addo-Carr, Munster, Croft, Bromwich, C Smith, Asofa-Solomona, Stimson, Hoffman, Finucane; Interchanges: Glasby, Welch, Kasiano, B Smith
Tries: ; Goals: Stimson 2
Sin-bin: Smith – dissent
Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.