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NRL: Fitzgibbon salutes gutsy win

Cronulla coach Craig Fitzgibbon praised his side for taking their opportunities as they fought out a gutsy 18-16 win over the Parramatta Eels.

The Sharks are priced at 18/1 to win the NRL grand final this season and picked up their first win of the 2022 campaign on Saturday.

Returning home

The clash was the Sharks' first game at the PointsBet Stadium in over two years and was also Fitzgibbon's debut as coach after he missed round one through illness.

The Eels were on course for being party poopers until Teig Wilton levelled the scores with a 79th-minute try before Nicho Hynes slotted the conversion to win the game.

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Fitzgibbon was proud of his side and delighted to snatch the win in the manner that they did.

"We did it the hard way," Fitzgibbon told reporters after the game. "I was proud of the way we played. That was a high quality game in my opinion.

"They (Parramatta) are a serious footy team and they kept coming and we probably hurt ourselves. To keep hanging in, I felt like we just needed some opportunities and when we got them we did enough."

Eels out-muscled

Eels coach Brad Arthur was disappointed to see victory snatched away from his side at the death but admits there is plenty of room for improvement.

"We did enough to win the game but we've got to close that out," Arthur said. "I didn't feel like we matched them physically and played sideways.

"We've got to start physically and grind instead of looking for all out footy."

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