Cronulla’s Jamayne Isaako nailed an 80th-minute field goal to leave the Vodafone Junior Warriors reflecting on a shattering 22-23 in their ninth-round NYC clash at Remondis Stadium on Saturday.
The Vodafone Junior Warriors had a 22-10 lead midway through the second half following a Nathaniel Roache try soon after halftime but they couldn’t build on it.
Instead the Sharks worked their way back into the match striking twice with converted tries in the 59th and 63rd minutes to lock the game up 22-22.
For 16 minutes it stayed that way only for Isaako to leave the Vodafone Junior Warriors devastated as they were eyeing their second draw of the season.
Earlier captain Toafofoa Sipley had scored his sixth try of the season just two minutes into the game with centre Koli Oneone following up in the fifth minute.
While the Sharks responded with two tries of their own in quick succession the Vodafone Junior Warriors were 16-12 ahead at halftime courtesy of halfback Erin Clark’s 33rd-minute try.
Jazz Tevaga had an impressive workload making 127 metres from 12 runs and coming up with an astonishing 55 tackles while Sipley was outstanding playing 59 minutes, gaining 188 metres from 15 runs, making eight tackle breaks, two line breaks and four off loads while also adding 27 tackles.
Despite the loss the Vodafone Junior Warriors remained fourth on the ladder.
Match details | Remondis Stadium, Cronulla
Cronulla Sharks 23 (Ryan Cummins, Ashleigh Nisbet, Levy Sopi, Tepa Fuiava tries; Jamayne Isaako 2 conversions, penalty, field goal).
Vodafone Junior Warriors 22 (Toafofoa Sipley, Koli Oneone, Erin Clark, Nathaniel Roache tries; Ata Hingano 3 conversions).
Halftime: 16-12 Vodafone Junior Warriors.
Referee: Shane Rehm.
Vodafone Junior Warriors: Brad Abbey; Tomas Aoake, Semisi Tyrell, Koli Oneone, Paul Ulberg; Ata Hingano, Erin Clark; Bunty Afoa, Nathaniel Roache, Toafoafoa Sipley (c); Ofahiki Ogden, Matiu Love-Henry; Jazz Tevaga. Interchange: Tualima Tualima, Nick Lui-Toso, Junior Pauga, James Mafi.