Trindall leads Sharks to comeback win over Broncos

Joel Gould |

Braydon Trindall (r) stepped up to lead the Sharks to a 10-point win over the Broncos in Brisbane.
Braydon Trindall (r) stepped up to lead the Sharks to a 10-point win over the Broncos in Brisbane.

Cronulla halfback Braydon Trindall has bounced back from tough times off the field to lead a 22-12 comeback win over Brisbane in one of his finest hours.

In the absence of rested regular half Nicho Hynes, the Sharks No.7 scored a try and set up two others at Suncorp Stadium as the visitors rebounded from a 12-4 halftime deficit.

The Broncos were woeful in the second half, when they failed to trouble the scoreboard.

“I’m not sure what happened. It was probably our worst half of football after our first 40, discipline-wise, was our best half,” Brisbane coach Kevin Walters said.

The win ended a two-match losing streak for the Sharks and returned them to the top of the ladder.

Sharks celebrate
Victory at Suncorp Stadium took Cronulla back to the top of the ladder. (Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS)

The NRL issued Trindall with a breach notice last month after he pleaded guilty in court to mid-range drink driving and the presence of a prescribed illicit drug after an incident on April 22.

He was stood down by the Sharks to focus on his mental health and missed five games.

Saturday’s clash with the Broncos was his second match back and the 24-year-old stood tall to play a key role in a stunning win in front of 41,004 fans.

“He has had a tough time. That would be an understatement but he’s taken responsibility and accountability to work very hard to get back into our team,” Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon said.

“He’s won the trust of the group and had some really good moments and the good news is that I don’t think he is at the level he is capable of just yet. 

“Braydon is a terrific young player and has learned a valuable life lesson.”

The Sharks scored three tries in a devastating seven-minute spell after the break.

Cronulla’s back five are a key strength and it was winger Sione Katoa who stepped his way through from a scrum with power and deception to narrow the margin to two points shortly after halftime.

Five minutes later, Trindall threw a dummy, blitzed his way past back-rower Brendan Piakura and the Sharks had the lead. 

The Broncos had barely drawn breath after that double blow when a Trindall bomb was dropped by fullback Tristan Sailor and Blayke Brailey scored.

Sharks prop Royce Hunt came off the bench and was enormous with his energy and brute strength, while centre Jesse Ramien put in a stellar display to stake his claim to replace the suspended Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii in the NSW State of Origin side.

Jesse Ramien.
Jesse Ramien did his hopes of a NSW Origin call-up no harm with a stellar display for Cronulla. (Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS)

Brisbane captain Patrick Carrigan, backing up from Origin with Queensland, scored the opening try but the Sharks returned serve when back-rower Siosifa Talakai started and finished a left-edge attack.

The Broncos defended set after set on their own line before scoring at the other end through hooker Tyson Smoothy.

The Broncos, with several players backing up from Origin, ran out of gas in the second half and made multiple errors, with their last-play options poor.

Carrigan topped the tackle count with 45 and ran for 149 metres, the most in the side, but the bench was ineffectual. 

Forwards Fletcher Baker and Jack Gosiewski  offered little, particularly when compared to what Hunt unleashed for the visitors.