NRL Match Report - Sharks v Titans
A James Roberts intercept try with just four minutes left to play has gifted the Gold Coast Titans a 24-22 victory over the Sharks at Remondis Stadium.
Leading by four with time running out the mistimed pass has ultimately cost the Sharks their first win and has seen the Gold Coast post their opening win of the 2015 season.
The Sharks were first on the board through a penalty goal to Michael Gordon but it would be the Titans to cross for the opening try and it came in usual circumstances, with a one on one strip close to the line resulting in big Dave Taylor crashing over.
Aidan Sezer converted and the Titans led 6-2.
Running with the aid of a moderate southerly the Sharks responded and on the back of some good field position managed to level the score.
The try came from a combination of good play and a slice of luck, with a Gerard Beale grubber bouncing off an opposing defender before Valentine Holmes scooped the ball up and planted it down in the north-eastern corner.
The conversion was waved away but the Sharks all of a sudden had some momentum and a spring in their step.
On the back of an outstanding charge from David Fifita the Sharks marched down the field once more and this time it was a well worked play that saw Gordon break the line, before drawing the fullback and sending Michael Ennis on a 10-metre run to the line.
The try was the first for Ennis in Sharks colours.
Gordon kicked the conversion, then a penalty goal before half time and the home team would go to the break up by 14-6, an advantage which could have been even greater had it not been for a try disallowed by the video referee only three minutes from time.
The second half however didn’t begin the way Sharks coach would have hoped, with a penalty putting the Titans in excellent field position and a James Roberts try from a grubber kick bringing them within two points at 14-12 Cronulla.
Once again however the referees whistle played a big part in the next passage of play and this time the Sharks were the beneficiaries, with back to back penalties seeing them pinned on the Titans line, before a perfectly weighted Robson kick saw Holmes go over for his second.
Into the stiffening breeze Gordon was unable to convert but the Sharks now had a 18-12 lead with 30 minutes left to play.
But in another twist to what was a see-sawing match, on the back of a Sharks error the Titans replied, Eddy Pettybourne touching down adjacent to the uprights and when Sezer converted the scores were again locked, now with 20 minutes on the clock.
The match lifted in intensity with both sides desperate for the two competition points and it would be the Sharks to again put their noses in front with a Gordon penalty.
They then went four clear with a second penalty goal and with seven minutes remaining it was still anyone’s game at 22-18 Sharks.
Then disaster struck, just when it appeared the Sharks were about to put their opponents to the sword, a cut out pass was intercepted by Roberts, with the speedy winger running 60 metres to score five metres to the right of the posts.
Sezer kicked the conversion and it was 24-22 Titans with just three minutes left.
The Sharks won back the ball after a short kick off but another handling error gave the Gold Coast football, with unfortunately time running out on the Cronulla challenge
Valentine Holmes 2, Michael Ennis tries, Michael Gordon 3 goals
James Roberts 2, Eddy Pettybourne, Dave Taylor, tries, Aidan Sezer 4 goals