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The Thunderbolts threw everything at top-of-the-table Cronulla but were ultimately defeated 28-20 on Thursday night.

The NYC Sharks scored the first try of the game after seven minutes before Brodie Croft and Scott Drinkwater both crossed over to give the visitors a four-point lead.

Cronulla struck back just before half-time and both sides traded tries after the break.

The Cowboys are coming to town in Round 15! Get your tickets!

Drinkwater made it a hat-trick for the game after 56 minutes to put the Thunderbolts into a 20-18 advantage,

Storm’s Under-20s defended bravely but the Sharks produced two tries in the final 15 minutes to run out eight-point winners.

Despite the result, Thunderbolts coach Eric Smith was proud of the effort.

“I was really proud of the players’ effort,” he said.

“Even though we didn’t win the game, I thought it was one of our better performances of the year if not our best performance of the year. We played the top team who are a class act and have beaten a lot of sides.

“To play like that against a quality team and even be in front with 15 minutes to go, I thought it was a really courageous effort from our guys.

“We know that if we keep putting in that effort we will win more games than we lose in the back end of this year."

The Thunderbolts return to AAMI Park next Saturday to play the curtain raiser against the Cowboys!

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.