A field goal in the third minute of golden point by Valentine Holmes has seen Cronulla snatch a 23-22 win over Gold Coast.
The Sharks, who had trailed for most of the match, came home strongly against a Titans team down to just one fit player on the bench with David Mead, Nate Myles and Will Zillman all unable to finish the game.
SCOREBOARD: GCT 22-23 CRO
|in Robina, May 16 2015|
|Tackles:||Lachlan Burr (GLD) – 38|
|Hit-Ups:||Andrew Fifita (CRO) – 16|
|Tackle breaks:||Andrew Fifita (CRO) – 7|
|Run (m):||Dave Taylor (GLD) – 136|
|Titans: R James, D Mead, A Don tries; A Sezer 5/6 goalsSharks: V Holmes 2, L Lewis, J Bird tries; M Gordon 3/4 goals; V Holmes 1/1 field goals|
Holmes, who scored a double either side of half-time to spark the Sharks’ comeback, slotted the match-winner from 30 metres out.
It was a bitter blow for the Titans, who had looked beaten when young gun Jack Bird put the Sharks ahead for the first time in the match with just eight minutes to play.
But Anthony Don’s leveller four minutes later after a great cutout pass by rookie half-back Kane Elgey gave the home team hope.
Aidan Sezer’s conversion attempt could have won it for the Titans, but his kick drifted to the right of the uprights.
David Mead, scorer of a 90 metre breakaway try in the first half, limped off early in the second with a hamstring injury while Myles had to leave the field for a concussion test after slamming his head into the turf with 12 minutes to go.
Zillman by that stage was already out with a knee knock and the trio’s absence told as the Sharks overhauled a 14-4 half-time deficit.
Experienced lock Luke Lewis, Holmes and Bird all scored to put the Sharks ahead while centre Blake Ayshford was unlucky to have another ruled out when the referee deemed he had lost the ball over the line.
Myles’ head was at the centre of everything involving the Titans captain, in his first match since announcing he will be leaving the club to join Manly at season’s end.
The Queensland and Australia enforcer’s head was targeted by Sharks hooker Michael Ennis when the former New South Wales rake gave away penalty for throwing the ball at the front-rower.
Within two minutes of that incident, the Titans took the lead when Ryan James made the most of a clever Kierran Moseley reverse pass to crash over.
Mead’s break extended that lead before teenager Holmes gave the Sharks momentum going into the break with his first of the night.