Newcastle Knights vs Cronulla Sharks: Five things we learned

The Cronulla Sharks have made it six wins on the trot with a 48-10 demolition of the Newcastle Knights. Here is what we learned.

The Sharks have put on a clinic at the temporarily renamed Beanie for Brain cancer stadium, outplaying the Knights in every area of the game and never looked troubled throughout the contest, scoring points nearly every time they got in the red zone.

Newcastle had no answers for the free flowing Sharks rarely threatening the defensive line and its obvious they are missing Mitchell Pearce in attack, lacking in creativity and always looking for Ponga to create something but the Sharks had him well covered all afternoon.

  1. 1 Knights attack falls flat

    The Sharks rushed out to an early lead, but the Knights spent plenty of time attacking the Sharks try line but repeatedly came up short in the first half. Though the Sharks defended strongly the Knights attack was one-dimensional and lacked any real spark since the Sharks had Ponga shut down all afternoon.

    The attack was with no big set plays or offloads and kept throwing the same shapes at the Sharks line which they handled easily. 

    On the flip side the Sharks were tremendous in attack and scored nearly at will and Knights defence looked virtually non-existent at times. Often seen as a gritty arm wrestle side the Sharks will be pleased they could put on a dominant attacking performance.

  2. 2 Matt Moylan bursts into form

    Matt Moylan has had an indifferent start to the season, being shuffled between fullback and five eighth in the early rounds but now seems to have found where he fit into the Sharks side and looked fantastic at five eighth today.

    Moylan finished the game with six try assists that featured his kicking, passing and also some set plays with Wade Graham. A performance like that might just be the catalyst for a for more starring performances for Moylan.

  3. 3 Valentine Holmes and Wade Graham have to be in the frame for Origin

    Valentine Holmes has pressed his claims for a spot in the Queensland side for Origin one. Holmes continued his love affair with McDonald Jones Stadium scoring a hat trick today and has now scored 12 tries in his last 6 tries at the stadium. 

    He is one of if not the best finisher in the game and capable of breaking a defensive at any moment with his speed and would be a huge asset on the wing for Queensland.

    Wade Graham returned from injury and his arrival totally reinvented the Sharks attack and allowed Matt Moylan to shine. Graham possess a handy left footed kicking game and the ability to throw a perfect pass but also hits hard in defence and puts everything into every game.

    All the skills Graham possess make him a weapon for the Blues side whether they use him starting on the left edge or off the bench he could prove valuable.

  4. 4 Lachlan Fitzgibbon shines in beaten side

    While it's hard to find many positives out of a loss like that for the Knights where they struggled right across the park. Lachlan Fitzgibbon did everything in his power to get his side into the contest.

    Fitzgibbon scored a try, and along with Ponga looked like the only hope the Knights had in attack of breaking the Sharks line. Lachlan is a future rep player and one of the few positives to take out of the game was the performance of a young future star of the club.. 

  5. 5 A free flowing game of football

    Alot of the talk in 2018 has revolved around the refereeing and amount of the penalties slowing the game down and ruining the spectacle of the game but that was not the case in this one.

    With only 14 penalties blown for the match and 1 penalty goal taken most the game was free flowing and open making for good viewing, mainly for Sharks fans, though, as I dare say Knights fans wouldn't have enjoyed it.

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