Sharks kick off new season with a win

Rockingham Sharks got their season under way with a 28-10 win over the Joondalup Giants, but they were made to fight for the points, with a big first half defensive effort that set up the platform for the victory.

“We had to battle to survive an early onslaught, but credit to the boys, their defence held firm,” coach Tom Murphy said.

“The wind didn’t help and we have a few new combinations and that will take time to settle, but I’m happy with the points.”

Back rower Brandon White opened the scoring after 17 minutes, finding a gap 10 metres out to break through before Giants levelled three minutes later through centre Brad Sparrow.

White then grabbed a second but the Giants, with probing kicks from halfback Gus Marshall, levelled on the half-hour thanks to Sparrow again, after a period of pressure that saw a defiant Sharks defence keeping their their opponents at bay.

Captain Keelyn Tuuta-Edwards grabbed a third just before the break to give the home side a slender lead, but the Sharks kept the Giants scoreless in the second half as tries from centre James Blackburn, Kelvin Colman and a big dive for the line from giant prop Fortez Williams sealed the win.

“It was pleasing to keep them scoreless in the second half and Johnny (McLoughlin) drove us around the park and led from the front with his tackling,” Murphy added.

“AJ (hooker Andrew Jeffrey) had an impact off the bench and Kelvin Colman showed his versatility in a number of positions.

“The win was good but there’s a lot of work to be done. We will keep on improving.”

Giants’ halfback Taurean Sheehan was frustrated with his side’s error count but also saw positives from the game.

“Fatigue set in a bit later in the game and there were lots of errors, me included, so we know what we have to do to improve,” he said.

“We’ve all been very honest with each other. We were struggling with our shape and combinations and we’re not an 80-minute team yet, but that will come. There’s plenty of positives to take out of our first two games, so we prepare for Fremantle next weekend ready for another big battle.”