Gold Coast Titans earned their second win of the NRL season tonight at Southern Cross Stadium, beating the NRL Premiers Cronulla Sharks 12-16 to pull off a shock victory.
The Titans won the game with a try in the 75th minute that was scored by Leivaha Pulu and created by great work by English imports Dan Sarginson and Joe Greenwood.
That was Pulu’s second try in the second half, after he scored his first on 67 minutes.
Luke Lewis was missing for the Sharks with a hamstring injury, meaning that Jayson Bukuya started the game and Sam Tagataese joined the bench.
Jarryd Hayne, Konrad Hurrell and Kevin Proctor all returned to the Titans’ starting side, with Tyrone Roberts shifting to halfbacl, Chris Grevsmuhl moving to the bench and Kane Elgey, Tyronne Roberts-Davis and Pat Vaivai all out of the side.
The Titans began the game strongly, with Tyrone Roberts touching down after six minutes and Ashley Taylor converting for a six-point lead.
The Sharks hit back with a try from centre Ricky Leutele on 24 minutes, although James Maloney couldn’t add the conversion. But they took the lead with a penalty try eight minutes later, when Jason Bukuya attempted to touch down a grubber kick but was pulled back by Dale Copley. Maloney converted from in front of the posts, and on 61 minutes he added a penalty to put the Sharks 12-6 ahead.
But after some exciting handling by the Titans, Pulu touched down for his first try on 67 minutes, and although Taylor couldn’t convert, Pulu was in again after Sarginson kicked the ball downfield on the last tackle, Greenwood picked up and fed Pulu. After several minutes examining the try the video referee decided there was no obstruction and the Titans had secured victory.
Sharks: 1 Valentine Holmes, 2 Sosaia Feki, 3 Jack Bird, 4 Ricky Leutele, 5 Kurt Capewell, 6 James Maloney, 7 Chad Townsend, 8 Andrew Fifita, 9 Jayden Brailey, 10 Matt Prior, 14 Jayson Bukuya, 12 Wade Graham, 13 Paul Gallen (c); Interchange: 15 Chris Heighington, 16 Jeremy Latimore, 17 Joseph Paulo, 19 Sam Tagataese.
Titans: 18 Jarryd Hayne, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Dale Copley, 4 Dan Sarginson, 20 Konrad Hurrell, 1 Tyrone Roberts, 7 Ashley Taylor, 8 Jarrod Wallace, 9 Nathan Peats, 10 Ryan James (c), 11 Chris McQueen, 19 Kevin Proctor (c), 13 Ryan Simpkins; Interchange: 12 Chris Grevsmuhl, 14 Karl Lawton, 15 Joe Greenwood, 17 Leivaha Pulu.
A full review of all the weekend’s NRL action and a preview of Tuesday’s Anzac Day matches will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express