Cronulla Sharks blitzed Sydney Roosters 44-12 in a home game transferred by the Roosters to the Central Coast Stadium that drew a crowd of 20,060 spectators in Gosford.
Kane Evans was given the final spot on the bench for the Roosters with Nat Butcher dropping out.
Fa’amanu Brown replaced the injured Jayden Brailey (jaw) at hooker for Cronulla with Matt Prior returning to the starting side at prop and Jayson Bukuya dropping back to the bench. Joseph Paulo replaced the Leigh bound Daniel Mortimer on the interchange. Kurt Capewell also dropped out with Sam Tagataese getting a bench spot.
The Sharks opened the scoring with a James Maloney penalty and then Jack Bird ran through the defence to give the Sharks an 8-0 lead after 16 minutes.
The Roosters responded when Luke Keary’s pinpoint grubber found Daniel Tupou who touched down to reduce the margin.
Valentine Holmes and Ryan Matterson then swapped tries before winger Sosaia Feki touched down just before the break.
The second half was all Cronulla. Ricky Leutele was the first to touch down to push the lead out to 14 points and then winger Gerard Beale touched down before Luke Lewis intercepted near his own line and raced 90 metres to score before Leutele touched down again in the final play of the game.
Roosters: 1 Michael Gordon, 2 Daniel Tupou, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 4 Joseph Manu, 5 Blake Ferguson, 6 Luke Keary, 7 Mitchell Pearce, 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9 Jake Friend (c), 10 Dylan Napa, 11 Ryan Matterson, 12 Mitchell Aubusson, 13 Aidan Guerra; Interchange: 14 Isaac Liu, 15 Zane Tetevano, 17 Connor Watson, 18 Kane Evans.
Sharks: 1 Valentine Holmes, 2 Sosaia Feki, 3 Jack Bird, 4 Ricky Leutele, 5 Gerard Beale, 6 James Maloney, 7 Chad Townsend, 8 Andrew Fifita, 9 Fa’amanu Brown, 10 Matt Prior, 11 Luke Lewis, 12 Wade Graham, 13 Paul Gallen (c); Interchange: 14 Jayson Bukuya, 15 Chris Heighington, 17 Joseph Paulo, 18 Sam Tagataese
Full coverage of all the weekend’s NRL action can be found in Monday’s edition of League Express, available in the shops and online.