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Tigers get in on Leichhardt party to sink sorry Sharks

Wests Tigers have proved there is plenty of life left at Leichhardt Oval, with the joint-venture shocking Cronulla 32-6 in their first game at the ground this season.

In the same week concerns were raised about the old venue's future, 15,990 people packed into the so-called "eighth wonder of the world'' to see an Apisai Koroisau masterclass.

Fighting a gastro bug in the lead-in to the match, the ill-looking Tigers hooker set up two tries, before leaving the field to a standing ovation with 13 minutes to play.

"That's the standard we've set," coach Benji Marshall said.

"He's not good, but the thing is Api would have played no matter what.

"He wouldn't want a big deal made of it, but it's a big effort from him."

Justin Olam also showed he can be a threat at left centre, scoring a try and busting six tackles in his first game for the Tigers after moving from Melbourne.

The previously unbeaten Sharks turned in one of their worst performances in recent memory, with the defeat their equal-fourth biggest under Craig Fitzgibbon.

Cronulla completed at 68 per cent, while halfback Nicho Hynes had a miserable night - missing seven tackles, dropping the ball twice, throwing an intercept and sending two kicks out on the full.

Nicho Hynes at Leichhardt Oval.
Cronulla halfback Nicho Hynes endured a sobering night against the Tigers. (Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS)

So bad did it get for the Sharks, bench prop Royce Hunt hurt his calf while warming up on the sideline.

Dale Finucane (concussion) and Toby Rudolf (ankle) also suffered injuries, leaving Cronulla's pack stretched for Easter Sunday's clash with Canberra.

"You get what you're given, with enthusiasm, attitude or whatever," Fitzgibbon said.

"When two teams are going head to head, you can't be the one that keeps turning the ball over like that and searching for points and searching for a feeling.

"They just kept a real simple style on us and that's what we've been doing to teams the last couple of weeks."

The Tigers were all in on the Leichhardt Oval party in front of a packed hill for Marshall's first game as coach at the venue.

The Tigers may have recorded bigger wins last year, but this was easily their most complete performance in some time.

Marshall's men offloaded 14 times and busted 34 tackles, but they still played with control and were tight in defence.

After Cronulla scored first through Tom Hazelton, the Tigers' opener came when Solomona Faataape batted back a shallow Aidan Sezer kick for Isaiah Papali'i to cross.

Alex Seyfarth was the next in, when Koroisau went short to him from close distance.

Alex Seyfarth touches down for the Tigers in their 32-6 win v Cronulla
Alex Seyfarth touches down for the Tigers in their 32-6 thumping of Cronulla. (Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS)

All the while the Sharks' errors continued to kill them.

A Jesse Ramien offload went to ground just before the break, and when Hynes failed to dive on the ball, Koroisau pounced.

From the ensuing set, Koroisau was able to poke his nose through and put a charging Olam over in the 38th minute.

It was another Sharks error that gifted the Tigers their first try after the break.

When Cronulla failed to clean up a Sezer kick and Braydon Trindall fumbled in his own in-goal, Jahream Bula was on hand to capitalise.

The Tigers fullback had another try late when he ran through Cronulla's right-edge defence at speed after a Siosifa Talakai drop.

The Tigers' win took the scoreline for their past two games at Leichhardt to a combined 98-24 in their favour, after they destroyed North Queensland at the ground last year.

"I 100 per cent (want more games here)," Koroisau said.

"It's incredible. Just to hear them getting behind our backs. Hearing the roar, the energy you get.

"It's hard to put into words, but the atmosphere drives the energy of the players."