Cronulla Sharks full-back Will Kennedy scores the first hat-trick of his career as Craig Fitzgibbon’s side crush Parramatta Eels 30-26 at CommBank Stadium
It was always an uncomfortable truth for one of these teams to start the year with two losses, especially when both finished in the top four at the end of last year’s regular season. The half-time barbecue would have been more uncomfortable because of their defensive weakness.
Brad Arthur and Craig Fitzgibbon are tough men whose teams are built around their personalities. Neither would have been satisfied with a 18:14 result at the break.
Parramatta led 10-0 within six minutes as Isaah Yeo’s clone, former Panther J’Maine Hopgood, helped set up openers against Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Maika Sivo.
But the real drama came in the backplay leading up to the second try when Eel’s co-captain Gutherson was crunched by Jesse Ramien, high but not high enough for a penalty.
By the time the Eels had started their next set, independent doctor Gutherson wanted off the field. When he returned 15 minutes later, his team was 12-10 behind when the Brit Nikora and Gutherson’s Kennedy scored against weak online defences.
What Kennedy gives, he takes. He was fumbling with a Moses bomb in the next minute and when he was able to get his hands on the Eels No 7 on the next set, it slipped frantically after the Eels halfback scored.
Moses would score again, and again after a Hopgood break with seven minutes to go to put the Eels within four points. And yet it wasn’t enough.
CRONULLA SHARKS 30 (Will Kennedy 3, Briton Nikora, Ronaldo Mulitalo tries; Braydon Trindall 5 goals) defeated PARRAMATTA EELS 26 (Maika Sivo 2, Mitchell Moses 2, Reagan Campbell-Gillard tries; Moses 3 goals) at CommBank Stadium. Referee: Gerard Sutton. Quantity: 16,663.
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/kennedy-hat-trick-stuns-eels-as-sharks-open-account-20230310-p5cr0h.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport Cronulla Sharks full-back Will Kennedy scores the first hat-trick of his career as Craig Fitzgibbon’s side crush Parramatta Eels 30-26 at CommBank Stadium