Cronulla 20-18 Canterbury: Sione Katoa hat-trick helps Sharks beat Bulldogs

Sione Katoa scored a hat-trick to help Cronulla beat Canterbury 20-18 at Bankwest Stadium.

Katoa opened the scoring for the Sharks in the 12th minute, with Shaun Johnson converting to give his side a 6-0 lead.

Will Hopoate went over for the Bulldogs on the half hour mark, with Jake Averillo’s conversion levelling the score at 6-6.

Cronulla forward Briton Nikora was sin-binned in the 34th minute and the score was tied at 6-6 at the break.

Katoa got his second in the 48th minute to edge Cronulla back in front, while Canterbury’s Brandon Wakeham was sin-binned two minutes later.

John Morris’ Sharks extended their lead when Katoa completed his hat-trick and they were 16-6 to the good after 53 minutes.

Dean Pay’s Bulldogs pulled one back through Kieran Foran but Bryson Goodwin then scored for Cronulla. The Sharks were 20-12 ahead with 12 minutes left on the clock.

Christian Crichton went over for Canterbury late on, with Averillo adding the extras but it was Cronulla who finished 20-18 winners.

Cronulla: Moylan; Katoa, Dugan, Ramien, Goodwin; Johnson, Townsend; Woods, Brailey, Hamlin-Uele, Nikora, Graham, Williams. Subs: Fifita, Rudolf, Talakai, Hunt.

Tries: Katoa (3), Goodwin Goals: Johnson 2/4

Canterbury: Hopoate; Crichton, Smith, Watene-Zelezniak, Averillo; Foran, Wakeham; To’omaga, Marshall-King, Napa, Jackson, Faitala-Mariner, Elliott. Subs: Holland, Britt, Sue, Ogden.

Tries: Hopoate, Foran, Crichton Goals: Averillo 3/3

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