NRL: Sharks snap losing streak with dramatic comeback

Paul Gallen of the Sharks celebrates with fans after Cronulla ended their five-match losing streak with a win over the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on Friday. Photo / Getty Images
Paul Gallen of the Sharks celebrates with fans after Cronulla ended their five-match losing streak with a win over the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on Friday. Photo / Getty Images

After five weeks, four losses and 324 playing minutes, Cronulla's NRL point-scoring drought is over.

And so too is their five-match losing streak after a miraculous second-half comeback win over Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

Down 22-0 with 27 minutes left, the Sharks broke their shackles with four unanswered tries for a thrilling 24-22 victory in front of 24,285 stunned Brisbane fans.

It was unheralded winger Jacob Gagan who stopped the rot, and sparked the comeback, latching on to a Todd Carney cross-kick in what appeared a mere consolation try at the time.

But when it rains it pours for cellar-dwellers Cronulla. Paul Gallen and Carney then also crossed in a 10-minute blitz that had them just four down with 15 minutes to play.

Although Broncos halfback Ben Hunt did his best to cap a superb individual display by closing down the game, a Dale Copley fumble handed the Sharks the two points.

Copley rose high to claim a Jeff Robson bomb on his goal-line but lost it as he fell to the surface, giving rival winger Sosaia Feki a gift match-winner.

While Gallen and his men were jubilant on fulltime, it was a match the Broncos can feel they threw away after taking their foot off the Sharks' throat.

The return of Gallen, Luke Lewis and halfback Robson did little to change Cronulla's fortunes in the first half when Hunt ran amok.

Cronulla, whose previous last try came on May 17 against Wests Tigers, and had since leaked 86 points, tried all they could with midfield grubbers and 12 off-loads but again lacked the precision and composure.

In that time, Hunt clinically set up all three Broncos tries for a 16-0 halftime lead.

The much-improved halfback put Daniel Vidot over in the 15th minute with a superb cut-out pass down the short side which was a sign of things to come. Another well-weighted cut-out saw Alex Glenn bust through some flimsy defence.

The third came from a right-foot step and then offload on the line for Dave Hala to dive over for just his second NRL try.

Hala didn't have to wait long for his third as he crossed two minutes after the resumption, but from there the sixth-placed Broncos rested on their laurels and were punished.

- AAP

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