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Wests Tigers have suffered a 50-20 loss to the Cronulla Sharks on Saturday afternoon in the first ever NRL match at Rockhampton.

The Sharks scored nine tries to four as Michael Maguire’s men copped their first loss in three weeks and missed an opportunity to move level with eighth position on the ladder.

Four Cronulla players — Ronaldo Mulitalo, Luke Metcalf, William Kennedy and Sione Katoa — all scored doubles on an unhappy afternoon for Wests Tigers. 

Michael Chee Kam scored the first try of the afternoon when he barged his way over the line after receiving a short ball from Moses Mbye — giving Wests Tigers a four-point lead after as many minutes.

Cronulla managed to take a 6-4 lead after Braydon Trindall sent a cut-out ball to winger Sione Katoa, who scored on his 24th birthday.

The Sharks were then denied a try to Briton Nikora after the backrower was ruled to have pushed Chee Kam in the back while jostling for the ball.

Chee Kam makes it look easy on the left edge

However, they couldn’t be denied when Luke Metcalf provided a try for winger Ronaldo Mulitalo down the left — a mirror image of their first try — giving the Sharks a 10-4 lead after 25 minutes

Mulitalo then had a first-half double when he crossed just before half-time to give his side a 16-4 advantage at the break.

The winger could’ve had a hat-trick early in the second half when he broke through the line, however with no defenders ahead, he passed to Metcalf, who crossed for his first NRL try.

Wests Tigers thought they had hit back when Adam Doueihi took on the defensive line and scored from a scrum play, however the Bunker intervened to rule that a Sharks player was held back in the scrum.

The Sharks extended their lead to 24 points when Katoa split through the line and linked up with fullback William Kennedy to score.

Wests Tigers forward Tom Amone came up with a big play when he completed a swift one-on-one steal and his side was rewarded with points on the ensuing set when Chee Kam produced a lovely offload for Ken Maumalo’s 50th NRL try — reducing the deficit to 18 points with 22 minutes remaining.

But just as Wests Tigers were getting themselves back into the game, Sharks forward Teig Wilton scored off a kick for a 24-point lead.  

The game was going back and forward — this time Tommy Talau crossing to give Wests Tigers fans a glimmer of hope.

Chee Kam turns his efforts to setting Maumalo up

And then rookie Wests Tigers forward Kelma Tuilagi had the second try of his NRL career to close the gap to 14 — however the youngster injured himself in the process of scoring.

The result was sealed for the Sharks when Matt Moylan broke through the line and linked with Metcalf for his second try of the afternoon before Kennedy and Katoa completed their doubles.

Wests Tigers will turn their attention to next Sunday clash against the Penrith Panthers at Moreton Daily Stadium in Redcliffe.

Cronulla Sharks 50 (Mulitalo 2, Metcalf 2, Kennedy 2, Katoa 2, Wilton tries; Trindall 6/8 goals) def. Wests Tigers 20 (Chee Kam, Maumalo, Taulau, Tuilagi tries; Doueihi 2/4 goals) at Brown Park, Rockhampton.