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It was not a great day at the office for the nib Newcastle Knights, who were defeated 48-10 by the Cronulla Sharks at Beanie for Brain Cancer Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

While the Knights had strong possession of the ball early, the Sharks turned on a scoring display in the first half and that continued as a lack-lustre Knights defence allowed the visitors to stage a 38-point win.

An early penalty was awarded to the Sharks after a high hit on Matt Moylan, which paved the way for the opening try.

A miscommunication in the Knights defence saw Jessie Ramien side step his way to the line. Chad Townsend was unable to add the extras and it was the visitors in the lead, 4-0.

Moments later Josh Dugan dropped the high ball and knocked on to see the Knights gain back possession, but they couldn't use it to their advantage.

In his usual style, Lachlan Fitzgibbon came charging through the pack to almost reach the line and forced another penalty in the Knights favour, but the opportunity was lost, and Newcastle couldn't convert into points.

An 80-metre set from the Sharks put them in superb position, as Townsend booted it high into the air before an awkward bounce landed in the hands of Valentine Holmes, who sprinted 10 metres to cross over. Townsend missed the kick again, but it was Cronulla in front, 8-0 after 12 minutes.

A play the ball mistake came from Paul Gallen and it was back in Knights hands, but a sharp pass from Kalyn Ponga just had too much heat, and Nathan Ross couldn't control it.

Down the other end the Sharks won a penalty and Townsend slotted it through the middle to stretch the lead to 10-0.

Not the best night for Gallen as he produced another mistake before a run of penalties went the Knights way as they inched closer to the line, but the Sharks defensive line was impenetrable, and the home side couldn't capitalise.

In the 30th minute a brilliant offload by Matt Prior saw Jayden Brailey crash over for the Sharks just beside the posts. Townsend didn't miss out in front and it was 16-0 to Cronulla.

Finally, 34 minutes in Fitzgibbon broke through to beat three defenders to muscle his way to the line for the Knights first try of the afternoon. Ken Sio nailed the kick from 20-metres out and Newcastle trailed, 16-6.

After a bonus set, the Sharks swung the ball from right to left before Josh Dugan rolled over for the Sharks fourth two minutes before halftime. The kick was good for Townsend and it was 22-6 going into the break.

Just minutes into the second half, the Sharks found some space on the right side and Edrick Lee slid over for the four points. Townsend added the extras from the sideline to extend their lead, 28-6.

48 minutes in, the scoring assault continued as Luke Lewis broke through Knights defence o stride over for another Cronulla try. Townsend converted to make it a 34-6 score line.

A decision went to the bunker 51 minutes in after Holmes beat Sio to gather the ball over the line. The referee deemed it a try and Holmes recorded the double to see a 38-6 ball game.

The lead was again extended when Moylan planted a pin-point kick to the right side and future Knight Ramien beat Jamie Buhrer on the jump to ground the ball on the way down. With the kick, Cronulla had an unbeatable 38-point lead after 64 minutes.

In the 69th minute the Sharks put another nail in the coffin as Holmes hugged the sideline to dive over in the right corner for the hat trick. Townsend was on the kick, but it bounced from post to post to trickle out and it was Cronulla 48-6 in the lead.

A skilful left foot kick by Mitch Barnett in the 73rd minute reached Sione Mata'utia, who picked it up for the try. Ponga couldn't convert, and the Knights trailed, 48-10.

And that's how the score line stayed as the Knights succumbed to a 48-10 defeat by the Sharks to continue their winning run.


Knights 10 (T: Fitzgibbon, Mata'utia G: Sio 1/1, Ponga 0/1)
Sharks 48 (T: Ramien 2, Holmes 3, Brailey, Dugan, Lee, Lewis G: Townsend 5/9, PG: Townsend 1/1)