Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s unconditional passion for the Sharks was on full display when his beloved club robbed the Eels of victory after the mermaid in southern Sydney.
When Cronulla second rower Teig Wilton burst in on a Matt Moylan short ball and crashed for a try with 56 seconds left to level the scores at 16 apiece, the Aussie leader was spotted toss his Sharks scarf like a lasso.
And Morrison’s excitement was probably almost enough to shake Shark Park when firearms rookie Nicho Hynes pulled off a post-siren conversion to score the second round with a remarkable win.
He was among the thousands who cried Up, up, Cronulla to celebrate a stunning 18-16 victory.
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“The Prime Minister is standing! Fox League commentator Dan Ginnane said when Wilton crossed for his tryout.
“She’s not over; there’s a kick from afar.
“But it’s a game that deserves a grandstand finish!”
The game has been more when the conversion sailed between the sticks, with Ginnane declaring “Hynes the hero” and “Cronulla the winner”.
“They’re celebrating like it’s a grand finale!” Ginnan added.
“Drink this, Cronulla fans.
However, a host of people were angered by Morrison’s wild celebration.
“This attempt was ruined by the Prime Minister… waving his stupid headscarf!” radio presenter Nic Kelly posted on Twitter.
Hynes’ post-siren kick was the Sharks’ only successful conversion of the game, with the former Storm playmaker failing to add the extras on three attempts.
It was Hynes’ first win in Cronulla colors and the shrewd half-back played a crucial hand, netting a no-look pass in the 58th minute to send Connor Tracy for a try down the left edge before sealing the victory with his kick.
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While the Eels failed to pick up back-to-back wins to start the season, they stunned onlookers with an outstanding try in the halftime shadow.
Half-back Mitchell Moses chipped Cronulla’s defense from around 40m out, before full-back Clint Gutherson burst into the ball and beat it to five-eighth Dylan Brown.
The ball returned to the dangerous hands of Moses as Parramatta streams down the field, the former Tiger breaking away to score.
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“It’s amazing! What a try, what a beautiful try,” Ginnane said.
“And that turns this contest on its head.
“Moses, Gutherson, it’s just beautiful!”
The Sharks will meet the Dragons in Wollongong in the third round, while the Eels are set for a game against the Storm in Melbourne.
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