Cronulla Sharks beat Canterbury Bulldogs, Dale Finucane unaware of challenge, Josh Reynolds scores try, William Kikau HIA drama

Cronulla Sharks veteran Dale Finucane has hilariously admitted he was unaware of the hauls required for his team to win the $100,000 NRL pre-season challenge.

Finucane’s Sharks ran away with a comfortable 36-16 win over the Canterbury Bulldogs in Belmore, but finished seven disposals short of the 10 required to take maximum points from the game.

Maximum points would see the Sharks draw level with eventual winners Manly, where a countback would see them win the massive prize due to having the better points differential.

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“I just found out about the challenge,” Finucke told Fox League after the game.

“Up until that end, I wasn’t even aware of when the guys were calling for a tackle. It would be nice to win.”

Four Sharks stars got on the scoresheet, with Ronaldo Mulitalo and Teague Wilton scoring a brace, while Sione Katoa and Samuel Stonestreet also scored tries.

Despite coming out of two from two in the pre-season challenge, Finucane still identified areas for his side to improve on ahead of the first round.

“I thought the best thing that came out of it for us was our resilience on the try line,” he said.

“We obviously leaked one towards the end, but for the most part it was pretty enjoyable.

“I think only our fundamental mistakes (are areas for improvement). We had a couple especially early in the first half … those are probably the easiest to fix.”

Cronulla ruined what would have been a fairytale return to Belmore for Canterbury prodigal son Josh Reynolds.

Playing his first game at home in Bulldogs colors since leaving the club in 2017, the 33-year-old scored a second-half try to the delight of the fans.

Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo was left with an extra headache after the loss when star tackle William Kikau failed the first-half HIA after attempting his first touchdown.

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