Scott Parkinson reviews some Moylan Magic leading the Sharks to victory over a disappointing Titans side in front of a sold out crowd at Coffs Harbour …
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 18
Tries: Sione Katoa (10), Matt Moylan (14), Blayke Brailey (44)
Goals: Nicholas Hynes 3 (16, 46, 58 – pen)
Gold Coast Titans 10
Tries: Beau Fermor (18), Greg Marzhew (24)
Goals: Jamayne Isaako (19)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
Looking to avoid a fifth consecutive loss, the Titans started the game with energy. AJ Brimson had a number of early touches and bodies in tackles were strong signs that an upset could be on the cards.
Unfortunately, some great tryline defence was undone by a silly offload from Greg Marzhew coming off his own line, providing the first opportunity for the Sharks to score. They capitalised on this chance straight away where a brilliant tap-on pass from Will Kennedy sent Sione Katoa over in the corner.
As we have seen countless times from the Titans this season, one try quickly turned into two against them as Matt Moylan left defenders grasping as he stepped his way through to give the Sharks an early 10-point lead.
Desperate for a spark, two Origin hopefuls in AJ Brimson and Beau Fermor provided one. It was Brimson starting it by breaking the line and finding numbers on the short side; Fermor finished it, running 60 metres to add the first points for the Titans. It would not take long for them to cross again as this time Marzhew did brilliantly well to stay in the field as he planted the ball down just inside the corner post.
Just when it looked as though the Titans had taken charge, Will Kennedy broke through the line, giving the Sharks a great opportunity to retain the lead. Moylan looked like he he had done just that but his try was disallowed as Teig Wilton was ruled as obstructing the Titans defenders.
While countless handling errors from the Titans gave Cronulla chances to go into half-time with a lead, their defence ultimately stood up to the job with a scrappy half coming to a close.
HALF-TIME: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 10 Gold Coast Titans 10Embed from Getty Images
After playing like a side expecting to just turn up and get the win in the first half, Cronulla needed to get back to competing and working for a result. They had a solid opening to the second half with Nicholas Hynes being busy early and creating opportunities. However, it would be his halves partner Moylan setting up their first try in the second half, putting a hard-running Wilton through a gap before offloading to Blake Brailey backing him up. It almost turned into Groundhog Day for the Titans, as poor passes and ill discipline piled the pressure on their defensive line. However, they manage to turn away a number of attacking raids.
Despite being well and truly alive in the contest, the Titans seemed to lack energy and enthusiasm with their key players in Brimson and Toby Sexton going missing. A Captain’s Challenge, which picked up foul play from Jesse Ramien, finally gave them an attacking chance but a failure to execute simple plays and poor passes meant they never really threatened to add to their score. In what has become a regular area of frustration for Gold Coast fans, ill discipline crept in with Jarrod Wallace and Fermor giving away silly penalties to rob their side of any chance to overcome the deficit.
Despite picking up the win and moving closer towards the top four, Craig Fitzgibbon’s men have lots to work on and will need to be better to make a genuine challenge on this year’s premiership.
FULL-TIME: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 18 Gold Coast Titans 10
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Matt Moylan (Sharks), 2 pts – Nicholas Hynes (Sharks), 1 pt – William Kennedy (Sharks)
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