Andrew Pelechaty reviews Cronulla’s big win at Robina, ruining the Titans’ return home. Here’s how the game went.
|11th||Try Braden Hamlin-Uele (Cronulla-Sutherland)||Cronulla-Sutherland 4-0|
|12th||Goal Shaun Johnson (Cronulla-Sutherland)||Cronulla-Sutherland 6-0|
|24th||Try Corey Thompson (Gold Coast)||Cronulla-Sutherland 6-4|
|26th||Goal Ashley Taylor (Gold Coast)||Scores tied 6-6|
|31st||Try Andrew Fifita (Cronulla-Sutherland)||Cronulla-Sutherland 10-6|
|32nd||Goal Shaun Johnson (Cronulla-Sutherland)||Cronulla-Sutherland 12-6|
|35th||Try Anthony Don (Gold Coast Titans)||Cronulla-Sutherland 12-10|
|41st||Try Briton Nikora (Cronulla-Sutherland)||Cronulla-Sutherland 16-10|
|43rd||Goal Shaun Johnson (Cronulla-Sutherland)||Cronulla-Sutherland 18-10|
|50th||Try Blayke Brailey ((Cronulla-Sutherland)||Cronulla-Sutherland 22-10|
|52nd||Goal Shaun Johnson (Cronulla-Sutherland)||Cronulla-Sutherland 24-10|
|57th||Try Chad Townsend (Cronulla-Sutherland)||Cronulla-Sutherland 28-10|
|59th||Goal Shaun Johnson (Cronulla-Sutherland)||Cronulla-Sutherland 30-10|
|70th||Try Royce Hunt (Cronulla-Sutherland)||Cronulla-Sutherland 34-10|
|72nd||Goal Shaun Johnson (Cronulla-Sutherland)||Cronulla-Sutherland 36-10|
|75th||Try Bryson Goodwin (Cronulla-Sutherland)||Cronulla-Sutherland 40-10|
Cronulla, aiming for three wins in a row, were the first to score in the 11th minute, with a try to Braden Hamlin-Uele from a nice Matt Moylan ball. Hamlin-Uele used his momentum to roll over from in close.
Corey Thompson got the Titans on the board in the 24th minute, running nearly 90 metres after picking up a loose Shaun Johnson pass.
There was a further blow for the Sharks, with Moylan’s afternoon ending with a hamstring injury.
Andrew Fifita, coming off the bench, scored in the 31st minute, with a beautiful pick up of a no-look inside ball from Wade Graham on the last tackle. Fifita was unstoppable that close to the line.
Trailing 12-6, the Titans closed the gap to two points with a try to Anthony Don just before halftime, combining with Ash Taylor and Tyrone Roberts to score in the right corner.
Cronulla missed a late chance to build their lead with a poor kick from Josh Dugan (at fullback in Moylan’s absence); though he made up for it by smothering a kick to save a late Titans’ raid and keeping the Sharks’ 12-10 lead intact.
Cronulla quickly added to their lead with a try to Briton Nikora, going against the grain after a lovely ball from Shaun Johnson, who converted to give the Sharks an eight-point buffer.
Johnson – taking on the line and stepping in traffic – produced another lovely ball, this time to Blayke Brailey, as the Sharks increased to their lead to more than two scores.
Chad Townsend put the game away in the 57th minute, taking advantage of a Titans mistake to stroll over close to the line.
Royce Hunt scored his first NRL try in the 71st minute as the Sharks worked on increasing their points differential, which could be crucial as the season progresses.
Cronulla made it five second half tries with one to Bryson Goodwin, reaching 40 points for the second straight game.
The Sharks’ third straight win sees them enter the top eight with a 4-4 record: they’re equal with the Wests Tigers and Manly, and one point behind Newcastle.
While the Titans were competitive in the first half, Cronulla overwhelmed them in the second half; it was a reality check after their big win at Lang Park last week.They remain in the bottom four with just two wins.
Shaun Johnson has been heavily criticised at times since he came to the Sharks, but he turned it on at Robina this afternoon. After an errant pass led to the Titans’ first try, Johnson redeemed himself with two try assists early in the second half. The first was to Briton Nikora, the second to Blayke Brailey. The second try saw Johnson take on the line and fool the Titans’ defence with some footwork before offloading to Brailey. He converted both tried to give the Sharks a 24-10 lead, and ended with six goals from seven attempts. A fine afternoon’s work.
Gold Coast Titans: 21. Tyrone Roberts, 2. Anthony Don, 16. Bryce Cartwright, 4. Tyrone Peachey, 1. Corey Thompson, 6. Ashley Taylor, 7. Jamal Fogarty, 8. Moeaki Fotuaika, 9. Mitch Rein, 10. Jaimin Joliffe, 19. Beau Fermor , 12. Keegan Hipgrave, 13. Jai Arrow. Interchange: 14. Tanah Boyd, 15. Sam Lisone, 17. Jarrod Wallace, 18. Erin Clark.
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks: 1. Matt Moylan, 2. Sione Katoa, 3. Josh Dugan, 4. Jesse Ramien, 5. Bryson Goodwin, 6. Shaun Johnson, 7. Chad Townsend, 15. Braden Hamlin-Uele, 9. Blayke Brailey, 10. Aaron Woods, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Wade Graham, 13. Jack Williams. Interchange: 8. Andrew Fifita, 14. Toby Rudolf, 16. Siosifa Talakai, 17. Royce Hunt.