Holmes the hero while Cowboys beat the sharks in the Golden Point epic

Holmes the hero while Cowboys beat the sharks in the Golden Point epic

The Cowboys advanced to their first preliminary final since 2017 with a 32-30 win over the Sharks in a gold points thriller at PointsBet Stadium on Saturday night.

Former shark Valentine Holmes was the hero of the Cowboys with a 45-meter field goal in the 93rd minute after scores were blocked 30-30 full-time and after 10 minutes of overtime.

With Jason Taumalolo at his best, the Cowboys have earned a week off as the Sharks face a sudden death match against the winner of Sunday’s Roosters-Rabbitohs match.

The Cowboys struck first in the eighth minute when Tom Gilbert flew high to take down a Chad Townsend bomb and crash under the posts.

It took the hosts only three minutes to respond with Toby Rudolf, who took the ball from 10 meters and left Taumalolo and Scott Drinkwater in his wake on the way to the line. Nicho Hynes’ conversion is 6-6.

Gilbert gets along

A penalty against the Cowboys for a crushing tackle on Ronaldo Mulitalo handed the position on the pitch to Cronulla, but Dale Finucane grounded the ball in the next set and the guests were dropped.

Hynes pulled off a low and hard abandon in the 22nd minute that Jeremiah Nanai was unable to control and the Sharks took over, but the Cowboys held out when Kyle Feldt flew high to defuse a bomb.

Just two minutes later the Cowboys found themselves under the pump again and the combination of Matt Moylan and Hynes emerged to highlight a Siosifa Talakai try for the 12-6.

Dearden is hit by a cannon

Tom Dearden, five-eighths of the Cowboys, then produced a stunning long-range try in the 29th minute to equalize the scores before Peta Hiku finished a stunning team try three minutes later bringing Todd Payten’s men an 18-12 lead.

The shooting continued four minutes later as Moylan and Hynes teamed up again to put Mulitalo away on the left side and found Will Kennedy re-entering inside for the Sharks’ third try.

The game developed into a tug-of-war in the opening second-half exchanges as both teams completed at a high percentage before a charge on a Hynes goal kick gave the Cowboys the opportunity to take the offense and they did it with Murray Taulagi in the 53rd minute.

Taulagi’s goal was beautifully built by the Cowboys with Scott Drinkwater, Townsend, Dearden and Luciano Leilua before Valentine Holmes provided a sublime final pass for the 23-year-old to cross out.

Sharks bench striker Cameron McInnes was next to hit the scoreboard when he ran a hard line from close range to even scores at 22-22 and Hynes converted a two-point lead.

A mistake in Hiku’s play-the-ball in the 62nd minute seemed to have proved costly when Hynes put Connor Tracey in the corner, but the try was disallowed for obstruction by Jesse Ramien in the lead.

The short side raid benefits Kennedy

The home team stretched the lead to eight when Kennedy crossed in the 67th minute and mistakes started creeping into the Cowboys’ play as they played at steal but received a lifeline in the 73rd minute when Tracey was punished for a professional foul and Holmes scored the penalty for 30-24.

The Cowboys created a couple of opportunities down the right side, but a kick from Kyle Feldt missed and one from Hiku rolled into touch while the Sharks held on.

A penalty against Moylan for interference with the ruck with 100 seconds left gave the Cowboys a last shot and Taumalolo stormed for 30-28 and Holmes converted to send the game into extra time.

Valentine Holmes you are the protagonist

Feldt got his first chance to score in the second minute of overtime when he flew high to drag a Townsend kick but couldn’t control the ball.

Hynes had a shot for a field goal in the closing seconds of the first period but was loaded by Townsend and the teams swapped ends to continue the absorbing battle.

The game then went to the gold point and it was there that Holmes stood up with a monstrous two-point basket to take his team home.

“We have always felt since the beginning of this season that we show some character in the way we compete and the message that we have been trying to sell as coaches for over 12 months has been self-fulfilling in the first part of the season, the players. they believe in it and are the most important, “Payten said after the game.

“I can tell them we have a lot of talent and a lot of character, but they are the ones who have to believe it and we have proven it to ourselves over and over and tonight is just another great example of that.”

Snapshot of the match

  • Sharks prop Toby Rudolf’s try was only the third of his 65-game career.
  • Cowboys center Peta Hiku entered the game with an average of 149 meters per game and in the interval he already had 162 meters on 13 points and ended the evening with a staggering 314 meters.
  • Cowboys stars Chad Townsend and Val Holmes were part of the Cronulla drought premiership in 2016.
  • Andrew Fifita entered the fray in the 50th minute for his first taste of the action in his 250th career game.

Toby Rudolf the wrecking ball

  • Ronaldo Mulitalo has accumulated great meters for the Sharks with 276 meters from the end with eight tackling breaks.
  • Blayke Brailey was a rock in defense of the Sharks with 68 tackles while Reuben Cotter made 62 for the Cowboys.
  • Nicho Hynes was classy with three goal assists, four line break assists and 725 meters of kick.
  • Connor Tracey was stuck with eight minutes to play for a professional foul on Valentine Holmes during a chase.
  • Jason Taumalolo was huge for the Cowboys with 253 meters on 20 points and 41 tackles in 83 minutes of play.

Taumalolo sends us to extra time

Play games

Nicho Hynes entered the final series with 17 assists goal for the season and needed just 25 minutes to reach number 18 when he put Siosifa Talakai in a hole to score the second of the Sharks’ night. The try was beautifully built by Moylan and Hynes, with the five-eighth moving from the right side of the ruck to the left at speed to connect with his halfback delivering a majestic pass to Talakai to cash in his seventh pitch from four points of the season.

Hynes puts it on a tray for Talakai

Seven minutes after Hynes had done his magic, it was the Cowboys who smashed Jason Taumalolo’s ball who showed his passing skills with a 30m bullet on Peta Hiku who wiped out Ronaldo Mulitalo and ran away for finish a great team try started on the opposite side of the field.

Hiku stuns the sharks

What they say

“I’ve seen Val do it a couple of times [nail a long field goal]. I’ve seen him miss three in warm-up, but I’ve also seen him practice shooting on goal and if there’s no one around to watch him … he just likes big moments and big crowds, which is awesome, that’s what you need from your best players and he really stood up and made it count, which was awesome. Val got a fetch in the same set in our half court and he stood up and told the boys as he stood up and played the ball and they were running away he said “I’m shooting” and that’s what happened and he got called and he delivered”. – Cowboys coach Todd Payten

Cowboys: Week 1 Finals

“A mixture of pride and disappointment. It was a decent enough game to play, both teams were ready. What is done now is done, we just have to wash it and move on. We’ve earned a second try, so the disappointment is here right now, but we’ll try again next week, so we just have to brush it off … the thing that probably disappoints us the most is that we scored 30 points and how we defended all season we would probably do it nine times out of 10, so we have a simple concentration in front of us, we get back to work tomorrow and we prepare for next week. “ – Shark captain Wade Graham

Sharks: Week 1 Finals

What’s next

The Cowboys are now only one win from the grand finale and will enjoy a week off before hosting a preliminary final in Townsville. The Sharks get a second bite of cherry against the winner of Sunday’s Roosters-Rabbitohs clash.

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