NRL: Carney stars as Sharks pip Broncos

Todd Carney and Michael Gordon celebrate the Sharks one-point win over the Broncos. Photo / Getty Images
Todd Carney and Michael Gordon celebrate the Sharks one-point win over the Broncos. Photo / Getty Images

Cronulla's Todd Carney starred as the Sharks beat Brisbane 19-18 in Friday night's NRL clash at Suncorp Stadium.

In a game light on stars due to State of Origin and injuries, the Sharks five-eighth proved the difference in his 150th first-grade match.

Carney had a hand in all three Cronulla tries and slotted a decisive second-half field goal to heap more pressure on Broncos coach Anthony Griffin.

The Broncos took the lead after a scoreless first half when Josh Hoffman crashed over to end a 167-minute point-scoring drought for the home team.

Carney took control thereafter, sending Michael Gordon and Jayson Bukuya over to put the Sharks ahead.

Broncos fullback Corey Norman then spilt a Carney bomb for Sosaia Feki to capitalise before Carney's crucial field goal.

Late tries to teenager Corey Oates and Jordan Kahu had the home fans on their feet but it was too little, too late for the struggling Broncos.

The Sharks had earlier lost stand-in skipper Wade Graham to a first-half shoulder injury while Mark Taufua was placed on report for a shoulder charge on Broncos halfback Peter Wallace.

Saying it had taken him longer to reach the 150-game mark than it should have because of his "holidays" following off-field incidents, Carney was pleased with his efforts.

He said he hoped the performance would kick him into gear as the Sharks prepare for a run at finals football.

"Last year, heading into finals time I had a few injuries and my form started dropping off," he said.

"Hopefully this is the game I needed to spark the final run home for the year."

Broncos coach Griffin, whose team is struggling to get into the eight after three straight losses, was proud of his team's efforts but acknowledged Carney had been the difference.

"It was a tough old game," Griffin said.

"Both teams gave everything and it just opened up right near the end there.

"We just gave them too much start though."

- AAP

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