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At a very wet and soggy Toyota Stadium the Cronulla Sharks have defeated the visiting Gold Coast Titans 22-12 in front of 8,365 brave fans.
The big stars were out of the contest with both sides weakened by Origin. To make things for the visitors, halfback Scott Prince was added to the list of absentees shortly before the match with a back injury.
With Todd Carney in the Blues' camp, talented young halfback Chad Townsend was given an opportunity to return to first grade and lead his side to victory.
Points were going to be at a premium due to the conditions as was reflected by the scoreboard in the first half. Jermey Smith crossed first with a simple power run over the line off an offload pass. Chad Townsend pushed the conversion wide for the score to remain 4-0 after 17 minutes.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 22 defeated Gold Coast Titans 12
National Rugby League - Round 14 - Sunday June 10, 2012 2:00pm
Venue: Toyota Stadium
Referee: Jason Robinson and Gavin Badger
Video Referee: Sean Hampstead
Touch Judges: Dan Eastwood and Nick Beashel
Halftime: Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 10 Gold Coast Titans 0
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Chad Townsend (1 Try, 3 Conversions)
2 Points - Jeff Robson
1 Point - Bryce Gibbs
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks (22)
Tries: Colin Best, Jeremy Smith, Isaac De Gois, Chad Townsend
Conversions: Chad Townsend (3/4)
Gold Coast Titans (12)
Tries: Beau Champion, Matt Srama
Conversions: Aidan Sezer (2/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to NRL Sunday as we come to you LIVE from Toyota Stadium for the first of two Sunday games. The conditions here at Shark Park are terrible with a large down pour continuing over recent hours. The field has held up well despite the Toyota Cup playing earlier. It will be a wet contest with points at a premium today.
A few changes have been confirmed for both sides. Firstly for the home side, the Sharks: There is no change to the starting 13, however, Jon Green comes off the bench with Sam Tagataese replacing him in 19.
Meanwhile for the travelling Gold Coast Titans: A big change for the Titans with 5/8th Scott Prince ruled out. As a result William Zillman shifts into the halves. Following that Jamie Dowling will make his NRL debut at fullback in 18.
Both sides coming out onto the Park, the rain has stopped the water remains on the field in puddles. Expect a wet clash here. Kick off moments away
1 min: We are GO on NRL Sunday with the Titans kicking off. Matt Wright takes the ball before passing to Bryce Gibbs to take the first hit up
1 min: First penalty to the Titans for off with the Sharks pinged for offside. They attack from the free kick 40 metres out from the Sharks line
2 min: Video Referee Decision for the Titans, looking at the contest and grounding.
3 min: NO TRY! David Mead denied a four-pointer as he knocked on in the contest of the kick. However a penalty to the Titans for Colin Best blocking Beau Champion at a chance to contest the ball. Quick tap taken 10 metres out.
4 min: KNOCK ON! Mark Minichiello in the play of the ball lost control and gives up possession. Sharks hold on without conceding points. The Cronulla boys get the scrum feed 10 metres from their goal line.
5 min: Penalty to the Sharks on the last tackle, Luke O'Dwyer holding down in the ruck and not allowing the Sharks to play the ball. Free kick taken and the Sharks march on the Titans line 30 metres out.
6 min: KNOCK ON! Colin Best looked to catch and pass but in the wet conditions unable to hold onto the ball. Lose carry and the Titans come up with through a change over on their 10 metre line.
8 min: Wonderful kick chase from Chad Townsend as he collected Jamie Dowling in goal and forced a line drop out. Sharks with an opportunity at the line.
9 min: Jamie Dowling forced to take the ball dead off a Jeff Robson grubber kick. Good pressure from the Sharks, this is the 2nd line drop out for the Sharks and their third repeat set. The titans so far holding without conceding points.
10 min: KNOCK ON! Sharks looking use quick passing but unable to stick with the passes. Titans holding on so far.
12 min: Luke Douglas with a kick over the top of the Sharks line but it rolled dead before the chasers could arrive. Sharks get the 20 metre restart as a result.
14 min: KNOCK ON! William Zillman hitting up the ball unable to hold it in the tackle. Scrum feed with the Sharks. However before the ball could be released out a scrum penalty to the Sharks. Count at 2-all now. Chance for Cronulla 20 metres from the Titans line.
15 min: Another mistake from Zillman who jumped out of the line to try and stop the Sharks passing. However another scrum feed to the Sharks 10 metre out.
16 min: Penalty to the Sharks against Jamal Idris for not clearing the ruck. A load of pressure on the Titans line with the penalty count at 3-2.
17 min: TRY
Jermey Smith close to the line running of a simple offload crashes over the goal line to claim first points. Chad Townsend pushes the conversion to the left of the uprights and no goal.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 4-0
18 min: The Titans on the kick restart off the try have kicked the ball out on the full as the Sharks played it by having a foot over the dead ball line. As a result a penalty on halfway for the Sharks.
19 min: KNOCK ON! Bryce Gibbs looking to make his 8th hit up of the game loses the ball before getting there. The Titans hold on after conceding points and a penalty. Scrum feed just inside their halfway line.
21 min: Zero tackle for the Titans as the Sharks get a hand to the ball. They are rolling over halfway now with a full set
22 min: Issac Gordon jumped from the field of play and landed in goal, the referee ruling however a 20 metre restart for him. A free 20 metres for the Sharks to march up field.
23 min: Penalty to the Titans now for David Mead being taken out in mid-air by a flying Nathan Stapleton. So a free kick taken from the penalty as they march up field.
25 min: Forward pass ruled against the Titans as they looked to open a hole, however a scrum feed packs down for the Sharks on halfway
27 min: David Mead under heaps of pressure leapt high and took the ball off the Sharks kick. The defence of the Sharks strong as they continue to hold the Titans down in their own half.
28 min: Another set of six for the Titans as Jeremy Smith charges down the Titans kick. Massive chance for points here as the Titans attack only 20 metre out.
29 min: Aidan Sezer with a great cross angle grubber kick into the in goal area for the flying David Mead, however he took the ball over the touch in goal line and forced out. Sharks earn 20 metre tap as a result.
30 min: Jamie Dowling under pressure knocking on the ball, zero tackle of the Sharks 10 metres out from the titans line.
31 min: Chad Townsend with another good grubber kick into the goals however no points following but a repeat set through a line drop out with Dowling forced to knock it dead.
32 min: KNOCK ON! Colin Best fighting in the tackle of Matt Srama losing control of the ball in the attempt to free himself. Knock on the call and a scrum for the Titans on their 10 metre line.
33 min: Video Referee Decision for the Titans, on held call came. Interesting replay
34 min: NO TRY! Jamal Idris penalised for having hand on the ball after the held call came. Aidan Sezer denied points. Sharks holding on.
37 min: TRY
Nathan Stapleton starting the Sharks run off with a nice line break. Jason Bukuya with some skill to inside pass to his 5/8th runner in Chad Townsend who slid over for the Sharks second. Townsend converts his own try to extend the lead to 10.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 10-0
40 min: HALF TIME here at Shark Park sees the Sharks up 10-0 over the Gold Coast after a slippery and wet first half. Points indeed at a premium with only a late Sharks try extending the lead.
41 min: Nathan Stapleton gets us back underway here at Shark Park. Titans with the first use.
41 min: Chad Townsend collected by Ryan James as he kicked long at the end of the Sharks set. The ball rolled dead and gives the Titans a 20 metre restart
43 min: Jamie Dowling with a little kick to the in goal area almost coming up with points as a knock on against the Sharks. However Dowling threw an offload to the Sharks defender and he raced to the 20 metre line. But first error with the Sharks and the Titans get the scrum feed.
44 min: TRY
Matt Srama with a simple dart from acting half sees him crash over for the first Titans try. Aidan Sezer from beside the uprights adds the two points.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 10-6
46 min: The kick off the back of the set from the titans had a load of back spin and sat up for the Sharks with Matt Wright to return it into the line.
48 min: Great take from Matt Wright to clean up the Titans bomb after a kick came off the boot of Dowling,
49 min: KNOCK ON! Andrew Fifita losing the ball in the ruck with a little help from Ryan James, however the Titans get the scrum feed 30 metres from the Sharks goal line.
50 min: Ben Pomeroy firstly did well to take the ball in goal and return it to the field of play, however he got to the field of play and offload behind him to a Titan player.
51 min: A very strange few moments here, a reversal in penalty as seen the call to in favour of the Sharks with Ryan James taking out John Morris without the footy. Sharks with the ball on the halfway line.
52 min: Townsend with a big kick on the end of the set and Jamie Dowling and David Mead getting caught up but Dowling ended up over the goal line and gives the Sharks a line drop out.
54 min: TRY
Colin Best in his 250th NRL match scores a sliding try as he slipped through the Titans defence off a lovely waited pass from Wade Graham. Chad Townsend guides the ball through the sticks and extend the lead back to 10.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 16-6
56 min: Chad Townsend with a long attempt at 40/20 however the ball rolled touch in goal. Jamie Dowling returns it for the Titans who get a 20 metre optional restart.
58 min: Video Referee Decision for Beau Champion. Great play from Srama, looking at an Obstruction
59 min: TRY
Matt Srama on the last tackle put his foot down and stepped through the line and linked with Beau Champion who strolled in over the goal line. Aidan Sezer from out wide nails the kick and adds the extras.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 16-12
61 min: Aidan Sezer looked to kick from halfway on the last but it collected a team mate and bounced down into the hands of the Sharks. Great chance to extend their lead with a set 30 metres from the Titans line.
63 min: TRY
Isaac De Gois with a lucky bounce off a kick and dives in over the line to score. A simple four-pointer to extend the lead once again. Chad Townsend makes it a 10 point game again with a conversion from in front of the sticks.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 22-12
65 min: Dowling allows the ball to roll dead ball line off a Chad Townsend kick. 20 metre optional restart for the Titans. Still a chance for them to claim this game.
66 min: Penalty against the Sharks against Matt Srama for holding down in the ruck. Penalty count 6-3 in favour of the Sharks.
68 min: Video Referee Decision for the Sharks, Isaac De Gois claiming his second four-pointer
68 min: NO TRY! Chad Townsend denied after the Titans ruled to have grounded the ball first. Line drop out to the Sharks as a result.
69 min: A mistake from the Sharks turns over the ball to the Titans deep in their own half
70 min: With the pouring rain earlier in the day, a small crowd of 8,365 has been posted here at Toyota Stadium
75 min: Luke O'Dwyer getting caught on the last tackle with the ball and forced to kick. The ball rolled over the dead ball line and gives the Sharks a 20 metre restart
77 min: Dowling dives on the ball in goal and Jeff Robson's kick earns his side a repeat set with a line drop out
78 min: Forward pass from the Sharks and the ball ended up over the sideline. Titans earn a scrum feed on their 10 metre line.
79 min: Matt Srama pinged for a forward pass out of dummy half, a scrum will go to the Sharks but the siren will beat them.
80 min: FULL TIME here at Shark Park sees the origin affect Sharks claim only their 3rd win from the past 10 games without Paul Gallen. They defeat the Titans 22-12 at a very wet Toyota Stadium.