State of Origin star Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow scored one of the best individual tries of the NRL era as Nicho Hynes missed an after-the-siren sideline conversion to send the match into golden point in the Dolphins’ extraordinary win over the Sharks on Thursday night.

Tabuai-Fidow, fresh from his hat-trick for Queensland in the opening Origin match, scorched 98 metres on a kick return, sprinting and swerving past half of the Cronulla team for what proved to be the winning try at PointsBet Stadium.

Having butchered a 22-point first-half lead to trail mid-way through the second half, Tabuai-Fidow preserved the Dolphins’ top-four spot with a stunning effort in a 30-28 victory, which had high drama after the full-time siren.

Hynes had a chance to keep the match going beyond 80 minutes with a difficult kick from the right touchline after Sione Katoa’s last-minute try, but his attempt sailed well wide of the posts.

It left Tabuai-Fidow’s effort as a clear try of the season leader, and even had Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett rating it in the top “two or three” he’d ever seen.

“Steve Renouf scored a try I’ll never forget [in the 1992 grand final] and I’ll never forget this one either,” Bennett said. “Of course [he’s a special player]. We’re very fortunate to have him.”

It was a bitter ending for the minor premiership-chasing Sharks, who were on the cusp of one of the most remarkable wins in the club’s history, having trailed 22-0 after a listless first 30 minutes.

It looked like they’d barely shaken the fog of a five-day turnaround after last weekend’s huge win over the Broncos, but in a stunning burst either side of half-time they took an unlikely lead.

“Clearly, there was a bit of a hangover there at the start,” Cronulla coach craig Fitzgibbon said. “We missed the kick totally. We just looked numb in defence to start the game and got ourselves to a point where it was looking awful, and then we did something about it.

’I was really pleased in the second half and then we had one moment with Hammer … game over.”

Hynes had a mixed night. He laid on Cronulla’s first try for Royce Hunt, came within inches of a rare 20-40 kick, and fought hard to get his team back into the contest after an error-strewn first half from his teammates.

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow takes on the Sharks.

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow takes on the Sharks.Credit: Getty

But he ultimately had two telling contributions in the final 10 minutes, conceding an escort penalty to allow the Dolphins to boot to a six-point lead through a Jamayne Isaako penalty, and then skewing his attempt to level the scores.

It was the first goal Hynes had missed at PointsBet Stadium all season.

“It will get exacerbated because it’s him, of course,” Fitzgibbon said. “Everyone will talk about that. It will be tough on him because he’s been prides himself on [his goal kicking] … and his numbers have been terrific all year. But I think it’s unfair to put it on a goal kick when we gave up 22 points in the first half.”

NSW coach Michael Maguire would have watched and been left up in the air as to whether Hynes is the man to help the Blues rescue the Origin series in Melbourne. Parramatta’s Mitchell Moses is closing in on the No.7 jersey.

The Sharks made a catastrophic seven errors to none against the Herbie Farnworth-inspired Dolphins in the first half but looked in control when Will Kennedy gave them the lead 12 minutes into the second half.

But having caught an accurate Hynes bomb inside his own 10 metres, Tabuai-Fidow came back to haunt his Origin rival with a mesmerising run which saw him first go backwards to evade Braydon Trindall, then bolt downfield past helpless Sharks defenders.

Kennedy had the final shot at him, but he was shrugged off and Tabuai-Fidow touched down for one of the most scintillating solo tries in the modern era.

That’ll do from a great opening to round 15. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow’s wonder try stole the show. It’s now over to the rest of the NRL to trump that effort over the next three days. Good luck with than.

Dolphins players celebrate a try during the win over Cronulla.

Dolphins players celebrate a try during the win over Cronulla.Credit: Getty

In a match of momentum swings, one team scored 22 straight points before the other scored 24 in a row. Then, the team that dominated early benefitted from a superb Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow try to win a great contest. More of this over the rest of the round, please.

A desperation play results in Briton Nikora setting up a try with more superb play. The result is Sione Katoa scoring out wide. He needs to kick the goal to send the match into extra-time. The result: he misses to the right and the Dolphins win. Dolphins beat Sharks 30-28

It’s very close now for the visitors. Golden point is the best Cronulla can hope for. Dolphins lead 30-24 after 78 minutes

Six-minutes to defend a six-point lead. That’s the equation facing the Dolphins after a Jamayne Isaako penalty goal. “Get to your kick”. “A good kick chase”. “Defend as a unit”. They’re some of the messages that’ll be going through the minds of the visiting players. In other news, that last set from Cronulla was terrible.

The Dolphins lead again. That wonder try from Tabuai-Fidow has been followed by a period of consolidation. They again look like the team that raced to a 22-0 lead. You’d think they’ll win from here if they’re able to muster another try. Dolphins lead 28-24 after 70 minutes.

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