The Sharks have responded to a Gold Coast comeback with two late tries as they opened their 2016 Downer NRL Auckland Nines campaign with a 23-12 victory over the Titans.
The Sharks jumped out to a 12-0 lead however a couple of errors allowed their opponents back into the contest as the Titans levelled at 12-points all with time running out.
The Sharks defended their own line from the ensuing kick off and from the next set of six a long range five-point try from Mitch Brown, orchestrated by a clever pass from newcomer Kurt Capewell and the Cronulla side was home.
Jack Bird put the icing on the cake with a solo effort as the fulltime siren was sounding.
Earlier it was Ben Barba who put first points on, the Sharks utility showing trademark skill and evasion to beat a handful of defenders before touching down adjacent to the uprights.
Bird converted the Barba try and the Sharks led 6-0.
After regaining the kickoff and going back on the attack the Sharks mounted more pressure on their opponents and this time if was another of the new boys to make his mark with Josh Cleeland on the end of a passing movement to dive over near to the posts.
Again Bird was on target with his drop at goal and the Sharks were up 12-0.
The next period of the match would have disappointed coaches Shane Flanagan and Steve Price as the Gold Coast assumed some control, however the two late tries got the Sharks home in what was a spirited contest.
The next match in the Downer NRL Auckland Nines for the Sharks is against the St George Illawarra Dragons, kicking off at 7.05pm local time (5.05pm Sydney time) .
Ben Barba, Josh Cleeland, Mitch Brown (5 pointer), Jack Bird tries, Bird 3 goals