Cronulla have banked their first points of the season, in a 20-6 victory against a bumbling Gold Coast side today in front of 15,217 fans at Cronulla Stadium.
The Sharks showed a professional edge, in a contest that never reached great heights. They piled on all 20 of their points in the first half, Sione Katoa with a double alongside efforts from Josh Dugan and Briton Nikora, to win their home opener for the first time since 2016.
Following their disappointing loss to the Newcastle Knights last weekend, Cronulla came out with an edge this afternoon. Shaun Johnson directed play well, sweeping down the right twice to set up both of Katoa's tries, as the playmaker looked much more settled in his new surroundings.
Add in a well run line from impressive backrower Nikora and a simple scoop from Dugan to put them up 20-nil. The Sharks dominated the contest through a simple execution of skills against a Titans side, that at times, looked like they had just met in the parking lot an hour before the game.
The second half was a display where the tape should be burnt, and never recovered. Both teams failed to get a good grasp of the football, piling up the errors and penalties, the latter which led to Jayson Bukuya being sin-binned, never allowed the game to find a rhythm.
There was some cause for celebration for the visitors. After three scoreless halves, Brenko Lee finally broke through for a four-pointer. It came from some eyes up football from new signing Tyrone Peachey, to drift down the short-side and hit the rampaging centre in stride.
Granted it could've been much different for the Titans. They were denied on four occasions by the bunker in the first half, then couldn't make the man advantage count. Coach Garth Brennan may need to go back to the drawing board to find some more points in this side.
For the Sharks, they get their season underway with two points and a superb crowd on a Saturday afternoon in The Shire. They did lose Jayden Brayley to a HIA failure in the first half while fullback Matt Moylan did end the game limping after a knee injury.