Sharks win first Magic clash

Cronulla came from 18-10 down to defeat Gold Coast Titans 26-18 in the first game of the NRL’s Magic Round.

After both sides had tries disallowed in the opening ten minutes, Chad Townsend and Kurt Capewell combined to open the scoring through Josh Morris for Cronulla.

The Titans replied more by luck than judgement when Ash Taylor’s bounce pass fell kindly for Dale Copley. Morris’ second try, off Townsend’s kick, handed the lead back to the Sharks. But Braden Hamlin-Uele’s stray offload fell kindly for the Titans’ AJ Brimson as the lead changed hands again.

Taylor got his second try assist when his kick found Tyrone Peachey in the in goal to extend Gold Coast’s lead.

The Sharks hit back after the break through two unconverted tries from Aaron Gray. Kyle Flanagan’s pass was touched into the path of Gray by Jesse Arthars, on debut for the Titans, for his first before Townsend’s looping pass found the winger for his second.

Flanagan edged the Sharks ahead with a penalty before Queensland’s old enemy Paul Gallen sealed the win in the final minute with a try and conversion.

Titans: Gordon, Don, Peachey, Kelly, Copley, Brimson, Taylor, Wallace, Rein, Boyd, Proctor, Cartwright, Arrow; Interchanges: Arthars, Fotuaika, King, Stockwell
Tries: Copley, Brimson, Peachey; Goals: Gordon 3

Sharks: Dugan, Feki, Xerri, Morris, Gray, Flanagan, Townsend, Fifita, J Brailey, Prior, Nikora, Capewell, Gallen; Interchanges: B Brailey, Bukuya, Williams, Hamlin-Uele
Tries: Morris 2, Gray 2, Gallen; Goals: Flanagan 2, Gallen

Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL Magic Round games will feature in Monday’s League Express.