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Titans secure maiden victory over Sharks
The Gold Coast Titans have taken their Round 2 match - and first ever NRL victory - over Cronulla tonight, winning 18-16 in a tight game at Gold Coast Stadium.
The Sharks lead for the majority of the match - opening the scoring in a frantic first minute. A brain explosion from Preston Campbell saw him leave a fifth tackle kick which he thought was trickling into touch, but some smart play for winger Luke Covell managed to put Reece Williams over and the Sharks suddenly had a 6-0 lead.
The Titans struck back 15 minutes later with Matt Petersen crossing out wide, breaking the Sharks record of zero points conceded in 2007. It wasn't all roses for the Titans however, a half-time try to Sharks winger Fraser Anderson giving the Sharks a four-point buffer at the break.
The second half saw the Sharks jump further ahead, a brilliant break by Anderson who carried it upfield before offloading to Reece Williams for the second-rower to secure a double.
A further 10 minutes down and the Titans managed some momentum, resulting in a try to interchange forward Mark Minichiello.
The Titans trailed by four for much of the remainder of the game. But a late try to star fullback Preston Campbell - given benefit of the doubt by video referee Tim Mander - and the subsequent conversion, took the Titans to the lead for the first and last time. They held on for the remaining five minutes to claim an historic victory in front of a huge crowd of 17,946.
Standouts for the Titans included halfback Scott Prince, who commanded play around the park, fullback Preston Campbell, and reserve forward Michael Henderson, who made several damaging runs and managed to keep the Sharks on the back foot. Wingers Anderson and Covell had a good showing for the Sharks and will need to maintain form if the Sharks are to put an end to the Rabbitohs' miracle start next Saturday night. The Titans go on to face the out of form Bulldogs at Telstra Stadium on Sunday.
Round 2 - Full Time :: March 26th, 2007 Kick off: 7:00 PM Venue: Carrara Stadium Referee: Shayne Hayne Crowd: 17,946
Gold Coast Titans 18 Tries: Matt Petersen, Mark Minichiello, Preston Campbell Goals: Preston Campbell (3/3) Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 16 Tries: Reece Williams (2), Fraser Anderson Goals: Luke Covell (2/3)
A crisp night at Gold Coast Stadium for this Monday Night Football game. Both teams as per program - kickoff minutes away. Stay tuned.
0 min: And we're underway here at a packed Gold Coast Stadium! Sharks with first possession.
0 min: After just 55 seconds a VIDEO REF decision for a possible Sharks try.
1 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland Sharks An amazing try for Cronulla within the first minute of proceedings - a fifth tackle kick that Preston Campbell was urging to go out didn't. A case for obstruction could have been made but some deft work with the feet from Luke Covell has given Reece Williams an early-four pointer. Conversion attempt by Luke Covell successful. Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 6-0
8 min: A few attacking opportunities here and there but no points for the home side as yet. Cronulla's defence doing well so far.
11 min: Cronulla get away with some scarce backline work as Kearney appears to lose the ball - Petersen then knees it through. Dubious call at best gives Cronulla possession however.
14 min: The Titans find a very ordinary way to end their latest set of six, Gavin Cooper losing the ball 10 metres out. Kearney picks up the scraps and sets sail upfield.
16 min: TRY Gold Coast Titans Petersen crosses wide and the Sharks for and against finally shows a dent. Conversion attempt by Preston Campbell successful. 6 all
29 min: Both sides giving it a shot but nothing decisive to cross the line as yet. Score remain level at 6-apiece.
40 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland Sharks Fraser Anderson crosses for Cronulla following some smart work on the stroke of halftime. Covell's conversion unsuccessful as we head to the sheds. Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 10-6.
HALFTIME: Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 10 Gold Coast Titans 6 The visitors have got a slight edge as we go to halftime, a smart try in the corner as the siren sounded giving them a 4 point lead. Both teams didn't do too much to break through and at times silly errors proved fatal for either side. Luke Covell and Brett Kearney are looking strong at the back for Cronulla despite a couple of small lapses. If Cronulla can maintain possession, it will be a long 40 minutes for the Titans. Stay tuned, the second half begins in just 5 minutes time.
41 min: Kimmorley puts boot to ball and the second half begins. Titans first possession.
47 min: Basic errors costing both sides - handling errors and a sloppy passing game at times are making the Titans stumble, while silly penalties are costing the Sharks field position. A solid game otherwise.
29 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland Sharks A brilliant long-distance break from Fraser Anderson puts Reece Williams in the clear and Cronulla are firing. Conversion attempt by Luke Covell successful. Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 16-6
55 min: TRY Gold Coast Titans Some great play puts Cronulla on the back foot, the Titans earn a penalty and from the ensuing set Minichiello crosses easily. Conversion attempt by Preston Campbell successful. Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 16-12
62 min: Crowd figure at Gold Coast Stadium: 17,946.
70 min: The Titans are powering home now, plenty of attack and they have forced yet another set on the Sharks line. A fast finish coming up. Sharks in front by four.
73 min: VIDEO REF Possible try to Titans - Preston Campbell.
74 min: TRY Gold Coast Titans A very lucky try to Preston Campbell who JUST held onto the ball as he crossed the line. Video ref Tim Mander awards it with benefit of the doubt and with the conversion, the Titans are in front! Conversion attempt by Preston Campbell successful. Gold Coast Titans 18-16
76 min: Heartstopping stuff for Sharks fans as they get a scrum 30m out, then lose it on the first. The Titans looking keen and confident now with less than 5 on the clock.
79 min: A poor option to run the ball deep in their own half on the last sees Cronulla hand the game over with just a minute to go. The Titans look set to secure their first ever premiership victory!
80 min: History is made at Gold Coast Stadium - the Titans have defeated Cronulla to claim their first ever win!
FULLTIME: Gold Coast Titans 18 Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 16 The Titans have claimed an historic victory today at home, defeating a gallant Cronulla by just two points in a solid tussle. The Titans now face Canterbury in Sydney next week, while Cronulla have just 5 days to re-group before facing the red-hot Rabbitohs at home. A brilliant win from the Titans who really shone in the final 20 to put the Sharks to bed.