You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Sharks destroy Raiders 42-16 in NRL

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/03/2017 Matt Coughlan

A dazzling second-half onslaught from reigning premiers Cronulla has set up a 42-16 thrashing of the Raiders in Canberra.

With the Sharks' credentials to win back-to-back titles having been under question after their first-round loss to Brisbane, they cruised to victory on Saturday night at GIO Stadium.

A superb second half won the game for the Sharks after a scrappy first term.

A Wade Graham hat-trick and a brilliant performance from James Maloney led Cronulla to victory in front of a mostly hostile crowd of 15,087.

Maloney's creativity sliced Ricky Stuart's side apart as the Sharks piled on the pain after taking a 12-10 advantage into halftime.

While Michael Ennis wasn't there to taunt the Viking clap, as he did in Cronulla's win in Canberra in last year's finals series, the side's new hooker Jayden Brailey left his mark on the game with his first NRL try shortly after the break.

To add injury to insult, Joey Leilua went from the ground after a heavy knock to his knee.

The Raiders made a brief attempt to swing back momentum but a Matt Prior try extinguished all hope of a comeback, and Maloney kicked truly to take the Sharks to an insurmountable lead.

Skipper Paul Gallen was next in the queue to score for Cronulla, getting on the end of a Joseph Paulo kick.

Jack Wighton claimed a consolation try for the Raiders in the dying moments, but the damage had been done.

Canberra showed glimpses of last year's finals form in the first half, with Blake Austin and Wighton putting in impressive performances.

But despite ideal conditions, both side's handling errors marred the early stages of the game.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon