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Cronulla have produced one of their finest attacking displays to extinguish the faint finals hopes of the Titans, 36-12 in front of 12,997 fans at Skilled Park tonight.
Coming into this game, both sides were at the bottom of the ladder, so it was a much needed two points for either side. The opening was tight, with neither side making an error in the first sixteen minutes. It only took eight minutes for opening points though, Clinton Toopi shrugging off his defender and offloading back inside to David Mead to score. Prince couldn't convert and it was 4-0.
Cronulla hit back with Nathan Gardener having enough speed to skip past Rankin to make it 6-4 Cronulla. The Titans looked electric in attack and it showed in their second try, when Greg Bird was fortunate in a knock on call. They spread it wide, with Rankin making a two on one for Tonga to touch down but it wasn't converted, keeping two points in the game.
Cronulla would finish the half on top, crossing again after a break by Tagataese. Townsend applied the finish putting it high for Stapleton to leap and score. Townsend was able to convert this, taking us to 12-8 at halftime. Gold Coast were looking likely but lacked the polish to put points on the scoreboard.
Following a feeling out period in the opening ten minutes of the second half, it would be Cronulla who added to their halftime score, through their inspirational captain Paul Gallen. He steamed onto a short pass from Colin Best, beating several defenders to score his first try. Gallen repeated the dose, a few minutes later extending his try tally to two and the Sharks lead to 16.
After a Douglas error from the kick-off and a penalty, that was enough possession for the Titans to hit back through winger Steve Michaels and Prince continued his unhappy night with the boot, missing his third conversion to leave the scoreline 24-12.
That would be the closest the Titans who get, with Cronulla realising they were busting the Titans at will. The Sharks would cross again through second rower Anthony Tupou who was awarded the try, over livewire fullback Nathan Gardener. Nathan Stapleton crossed for his second of the night but was left unconverted to make the final score 36-12 to Cronulla.
Gold Coast Titans 12 were defeated by Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 36
National Rugby League - Round 16 (Women in League Round) - Saturday June 25, 2011 5:30pm
Venue: Skilled Park
Referee: Tony De La Heras and Gerard Sutton
Video Referee: Paul Simpkins
Touch Judges: Russell Turner and Chris Butler
Halftime: Gold Coast Titans 8 Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 12
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Paul Gallen (2 Tries)
2 Points - Nathan Gardner (1 Try)
1 Point - Chad Townsend (5 Conversions, 1 Penalty Goal)
Gold Coast Titans (12)
Tries: Steve Michaels, Esikeli Tonga, David Mead
Conversions: Scott Prince (0/3)
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks (36)
Tries: Paul Gallen (2), Anthony Tupou, Nathan Stapleton (2), Nathan Gardner
Conversions: Chad Townsend (5/6)
Penalty Goals: Chad Townsend (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to a very blue Skilled Park for tonight's clash between cellar dwellers Gold Coast and Cronulla. Both sides will be looking for a victory here tonight to launch themselves up the ladder.
Earlier in the U20s, Cronulla survived a spirited Gold Coast performance to win 28-16.
Gold Coast: Luke Bailey, Preston Campbell and Joseph Tomane are out. They are replaced by Brenton.Lawrence, Jordan Rankin and Esi Tonga.
Cronulla: Kade Snowden is out, replaced by Johnny Mannah.
Cronulla are out first, lead out by Paul Gallen as they take their position to recieve the kick-off. Here comes the Titans, with Welcome to the Jungle blaring as they prepare to kick-off.
1 min: Here we go in #NRLgldcro, Cronulla with first possession.
4 min: Solid beginning by both teams, getting to their kicks.
5 min: Cronulla keep it alive on last, with Pomeroy putting in a second kick. Gold Coast get the first penalty of the night, for a high tackle.
6 min: Smart run by Srama catching Townsend offside, for a second successive penalty.
Checking if David mead has our first try of the evening. Checking if Toopi went out.
8 min: TRY
A nice sweeping backline movement from the Titans, sees toopi push off his man, offload to Mead one handed, who touches down. Prince from near the sideline just fades it too far.
Gold Coast Titans 4-0
11 min: Titans are making 50-60 metres each set and are keeping the Sharks down their own end. That is until, they give away a needless penalty, to piggyback the Sharks up the field.
14 min: Quick hands down the left, finds Michaels in some space but he's rounded up. Bird is swooped upon on the last, forcing a knock on.
16 min: We have our first error now, Michael Henderson trying to play the ball too quickly, knocking it on. Sharks feed on their forty.
18 min: TRY
Sharks take it to their right but Best cuts back inside, giving a flat ball to Gardener who has too much pace for Rankin to score besides the post. Townsend converts and Cronulla lead.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 6-4
22 min: Nathan Stapleton leaps up for a kick and tries to position Pomeroy for a break but it goes forward.
23 min: Scott Prince floats a long looping pass to Michaels tries to use the sideline but loses the ball under contact.
26 min: Greg Bird makes a fatal error while on the attack, not playing the ball correctly.
Checking an unlikely Cronulla try but it looks like Tupou has touched it.
27 min: NO TRY! Tupou knocked the ball on.
29 min: Prince slices through but offloads it straight to a Cronulla player but Sharks were offside.
31 min: TRY
After a knock back from Bird. The Titans sweep it left to Rankin who draws his man and passes to Tonga who slides over. Prince from the sideline again has missed again.
Gold Coast Titans 8-6
32 min: Silly leg pull by debutant Lawrence gives Cronulla an easy out.
33 min: Paul Gallen shows he is human, with an error in offloading to Gardener.
37 min: TRY
Sharks storm downfield thanks to Tagataese and Wright who gets tackled. Next play Townsend puts it high for Stapleton to catch and score. Townsend has been perfect thus far in his conversions, nailing this one.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 12-8
38 min: Dear, oh dear penalty from the kick-off from the Titans.
39 min: Cronulla launch it high again but this time Mead is equal to the task, taking it cleanly.
40 min: The clock is winding down, so Scott Prince puts in a kick for his winger but Gardener is there and puts it Row J.
41 min: We're back underway through Townsend's boot.
42 min: Sam Tagataese is having a good game thus far against his old side, poking his nose through.
43 min: Nathan Gardener lets a ball bounce and it luckily goes over the sideline, after some deliberation from the referees.
45 min: Cronulla are making metres at will here, Pomeroy offloads to an invisible man who should been Nathan Stapleton.
46 min: Solid hit dislodges the ball and Cronulla will go on the attack. This penalty will help, for holding down.
48 min: Expansive here by Cronulla, Pomeroy chipping it back in for his support but Gardener is wrapped up just before the tryline.
49 min: Steve Michaels is taken over the sideline like a ragdoll.
50 min: TRY
Cronulla have extended their lead. Best skips out of a tackle and gets it onto a rampaging Gallen who just smashes his way over the tryline. Townsend from in front, slots it.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 18-8
52 min: Titans are inviting the Sharks into their end, with another silly penalty.
53 min: Six more for the Sharks after a touch from the titans.
54 min: TRY
Sheer determination by Gallen, he explodes onto another short pass and extends his arm out to score! Townsend converts the extras from in front.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 24-8
55 min: Luke Douglas from the kick return drops it.
57 min: Intercept by paul gallen but he's offside. More pressure being applied by the titans, they need to score soon.
Checking if Steve Michaels has put the ball down correctly.
58 min: TRY
The pressure finally tolls. Titans swing it left, forcing Pomeroy to come off his line, leaving his winger with a two on one but Michaels crosses in the corner. Scott Prince gets the direction but not the distance.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 24-12
60 min: Elbow raised by Jeremy Smith in the tackle and is pinged by the referee.
61 min: Toopi and Prince try a wrap-around play but it's too slow and the Sharks converge, tossing him over the sideline.
63 min: Gallen leading from in front and playing on the frustrations of the Titans. They are penalised and then marched ten for back chat.
64 min: A third successive penalty and Cronulla point to the posts.
65 min: PENALTY GOAL
Townsend pilots it through.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 26-12
Checking if Cronulla might have scored.
70 min: TRY
Townsend puts the grubber through and Tupou or Gardener have scored! It's been awarded to Tupou. Townsend with his toughest assignment of the night, passes it with flying colours.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 32-12
Nathan Stapleton might have his second, checking if it was touched by a Titan.
75 min: TRY
It's become an onslaught! Townsend launches it for Stapleton again, who juggles it but gets it down eventually. Townsend misses by a whisker.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 36-12
76 min: Cronulla boot it downfield, going through Steve Michaels legs. The extra bounce allows Cronulla to trap him in-goal.
79 min: Penalty Cronulla and they will have the last attacking possession of the game.
80 min: Prince puts one deep for Mead to chase but he knocks on and that's fulltime.