The Cronulla Sharks Under-20s have continued their barnstorming National Youth Competition season notching a 19th win – and 15th straight – in dismantling the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys 36-12 in Townsville tonight.
Unbeaten since Round 4, the rampaging Sharks were in no mood to have that trend bucked as their big, powerful backline was the catalyst for the seven-tries-to-two victory, which snapped the young Cowboys’ four-match run.
In notching the win, crafty Sharks halfback Kyle Flanagan – son of Sharks A-grade coach Shane – broke the NYC single-season points-scoring record following his tally of a try and four goals.
The Sharks now sit 11 points clear atop the NYC ladder and will win the minor premiership with daylight to second.
The visitors went into half time leading 20-6 on the back of four tries, and kicked on in the second with the first two of the period.
Brave Cowboys halfback Jake Clifford tried to rally the troops and scored a nice solo try to peg the margin back to within four tries, but it was a brief respite from the Sharks’ onslaught, with the Sydney-based club on track to have one of the great regular seasons in the NYC.
With tonight’s loss and the young Eels winning earlier in the round, the Cowboys will be looking for strong wins against the Tigers and Broncos in the closing rounds to shore up a top-four finish, and a vital double chance in the finals.
CRONULLA SHARKS 36 (Josh Tuilagi 2, Billy Magoulias, Kyle Flanagan, Jesse Ramien, Josh Carr, Blayke Brailey tries; Kyle Flanagan 4 goals) def NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS NYC 6 (Sam Murphy, Jake Clifford tries; Jake Clifford 2 goals) at 1300SMILES Stadium.