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The Cronulla Sharks have returned to the winners circle following their 25-18 victory over the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium.
The opening 40 minutes was a dour affair with neither side able to dominate on the scoreboard despite the Sharks holding most of the possession. The Titans opened the scoring after eighteen minutes when Jarrod Wallace charged his way onto the line after AJ Brimson turned the ball inside after skipping across the field.
Dominating possession, the Sharks had more than ample opportunity to score and they only managed the one try when Connor Tracey was able to get his way over the line after Briton Nikora kept the ball alive before finding Tracey.
The conditions deteriorated in the second half but the action improved as the Sharks turned on the class early into the second half when Ronaldo Mulitalo found space on the outside of the defence to make big metres along the sideline before a great pass inside found Nicho Hynes to score.
The Sharks then took control of the game as their next try saw Hynes return the favour to Mulitalo when the Sharks shifted left and a beautiful harbour bridge pass from Hynes to Mulitalo put the Sharks winger over in the corner to score. Adding a third try in quick succession, Lachlan Miller stamped why he's represented Australia at the Olympics in Rugby 7s when he swooped on a bouncing bomb and had open space in front of him to race 90m away to score.
Needing quick tries, the Titans gave themselves a chance to get back into the game when Jarrod Wallace chased through a kick that Toby Sexton put in to give the big man a second try. The Titans then set up a potential grandstand finish when Esan Marsters scored in the corner following some good play to close the gap to a converted try with three minutes to play.
Errors deep in their own end cost the Titans a chance of making the comeback as Nicho Hynes sealed the victory just before full time with a field goal to push the margin to 7.
Next week, the Titans have an all Queensland battle as they come up against the in-form Broncos at Suncorp on Friday night whilst the Sharks are back in the shire when they take on the Roosters
Gold Coast Titans 18 - Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 25
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Robina
Halftime Score: Gold Coast Titans 6 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 6
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Nicho Hynes
2 points - Blayke Brailey
1 points - Lachlan Miller
GOLD COAST TITANS (18)
Tries: Jarrod Wallace (2), Esan Marsters
Conversions: Jamayne Isaako (3/3)
CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS (25)
Tries: Connor Tracey, Nicho Hynes, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Lachlan Miller
Field Goals: Nicho Hynes (1/1)
Conversions: Nicho Hynes (4/4)