Cronulla Sharks ran in nine tries, including a Valentine Holmes hat-trick, as they inflicted a 48-10 defeat on Newcastle Knights.
First-half tries from Jesse Ramien, who will join the Knights in 2019, Holmes, Jayden Brailey and Josh Dugan had Cronulla firmly in control. Lachlan Fitzgibbon had replied for Newcastle with six minutes to go until half-time.
But five second-half tries killed the game off completely. Edrick Lee, Luke Lewis both scored before Ramien completed his double and Holmes scored two more to secure a hat-trick. Sione Mata’utia scored a consolation try to finish but it was far too late for Newcastle.
Despite their stronger 2018, the Knights still seem to be able to lose heavily and work is still needed if they are to make the top eight this year. The Sharks, however, appear bang in form.
Knights: Ponga, Sio, Mata’utia, Ross, Kenny-Dowall, Watson, Cogger, Ese’ese, Griffin, D Saifiti, Fitzgibbon, Barnett, Guerra; Interchanges: Levi, Heighington, Buhrer, Lillyman
Tries: Fitzgibbon, Mata’utia; Goals: Sio
Sharks: Dugan, Lee, Ramien, Leutele, Holmes, Moylan, Seumanufagai, Brailey, Prior, Lewis, Graham, Gallen; Interchanges: Paulo, Segeyaro, Bukuya, Capewell
Tries: Ramien 2, Holmes 3, Brailey, Dugan, Lee, Lewis; Goals: Townsend 6
Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.