THE Souths Sharks have shown their intentions of winning yet another Mackay and District Rugby League title, with an embarrassing 11 try rout of the Moranbah Miners at Shark Park on Sunday.
Grant Rovelli lined up at halfback for the Sharks in the AUSCOAL Super Cup Round 13 clash, and was at his scintillating best all afternoon, much to the delight of the home crowd.
The reigning Premiers opened the scoring early, working down Moranbah’s short side to create some space. Sharks five eighth Yosepha Kepa threw a perfect short ball right onto the chest of his winger Dan Hilly for the first try. Jarrod McGuire opened his account with the first conversion of the game and a 6-0 Souths lead.
Moranbah made a simple mistake bringing the ball out of their own end just minutes later, gifting the Sharks easy field position. Alex Farrell strolled over on the third tackle of the attacking set for a straight forward try. The conversion swung wide though and the score remained 10-0.
Things were beginning to spiral out of control for the Miners when the Sharks scored off the very next set. Grant Rovelli sliced through a would-be tackle, creating a two on one with the Miners fullback. Drawing the fullback in, Grant then put Luke Vaccaneo into clear pasture for Souths’ second try in two minutes. Jarrod McGuire slotted the extras for a 16-0 lead.
Souths showed they were just as adept in defence as they were in attack, shutting down a plucky piece of play from the visitors who risked to run the ball on the last tackle, and almost came up with a try but for a wayward final pass.
Souths were merciless on the hapless Moranbah side, scoring off the resulting turnover of possession. Grant Rovelli latched onto a short ball from Yosepha Kepa at midfield, and sprinted away past the desperate Moranbah fullback for Souths fourth try.
Moranbah were on the ropes approaching halftime, and they had no answer for a slick Sharks backline move that gave them their fifth try of the game. Souths winger Curtis Cunningham showed his skill and athleticism, walking a tightrope along the sideline to squeeze over in the corner and push to the score to 26-0.
A disagreement between two players saw the home side down to 11 men after a punch was thrown in the scuffle. But to rub salt into the wound on the visitors, the Sharks scored their sixth try shorthanded not long after the sin binning; Yosepha Kepa waltzing through some soft-as-butter Moranbah defence to give Souths a commanding 32-0 halftime lead.
The Miners fared no better as the second half began. A spiralling Grant Rovelli bomb went uncontested by the hesitant Moranbah backs, and a favourable bounce saw the ball land in the arms of Luke Vaccaneo who dived over for his second try of the game. Jarrod McGuire added the extras for a 38-0 lead for the home team.
The Moranbah side were running on fumes, and after Grant Rovelli left several Miners defenders grasping at air, Kelton Dorante found himself on the scoresheet after wrestling his way across the try line to give the Sharks an unassailable 42-0 lead.
It took 67 minutes, but Moranbah finally broke their duck after exposing a chink in Souths armour. A powerful run from Miners second rower Blake Walker saw him burst through three tacklers, and drag the Sharks fullback across the try line with him for a well-earned four pointer.
But that was as good as it got for the visitors as minutes later the Sharks were in again through Curtis Cunningham. A pinpoint Grant Rovelli chip kick saw Cunningham leap over his opposite winger to collect his second try. Wayward goal kicking kept the score at 46-4, but the home team were scoring at will.
Big prop Corey McGannon burst over for the Sharks’ 10th try and 50th point of the afternoon as the final siren approached. Then finally it was Grant Rovelli who put the cherry on top of the cake for the Souths side, racing clear as the fulltime siren sounded to give the Sharks a dominant 56 points to 4 victory.