Despite a late scare from the Titans, the visiting NYC Sharks were able to hang on for an all-important 34 points to 28 win, to now sit just two points adrift of the NYC’s top four.
The Gold Coast opened the scoring through right-edge centre Chris Mika, who snuck in past the Sharks defence to score the first points of the match.
With winger Tyronne Roberts-Davis unable to add the extra two, the score remained, with the hosts four points to the good.
The Sharks hit back soon after through winger Josh Tuilagi, who earned a late reprieve to the side having not featured for the Newtown Jets in Round 21, as he had in recent weeks.
The try was the first of two for Tuilagi, who also served a ten-minute stint in the sin bin aside the Titans’ Roberts-Davis for striking in the second half.
Though prior to being forced to watch on for the side, the powerhouse winger hit the Titans where it hurt most – on the scoreboard.
Tuilagi’s first-half double prevailed tries to Lachlan Stein, Jesse Savage and Ash Nisbet respectively.
Scoring five first half tries to the Titans’ three, the near-perfect goal kicking from half Rhys Davis gave the Sharks a 28-16 lead at the break.
Despite playing with plenty of energy in the first period, the change of ends brought a change in fortune for the hosts, who ran in two tries without response to see the scores locked at 28-apiece.
With both sides back to their full quota of 13, it would be the Sharks who were able to hold their nerve late on in the contest in search of points.
Defending their goal line with intent, the Sharks found a way through the Titans’ middle to score through winger Sione Katoa.
Interchange half Kyle Flanagan turned four points into six with ease from in front, to see the Sharks out by a converted try with five minutes to play.
Katoa’s try proved the difference in the end, as the Sharks hung on to score a 34 points to 28 win over a gallant Titans outfit.
CRONULLA SHARKS – 34
TRIES: Tuilagi (2), Stein, Walker, Nisbet, Katoa | GOALS: Davis (4/5), Flanagan (1/1)
Def. GOLD COAST TITANS – 28
TRIES: Mika, King (2), Scott, Sami | GOALS: Roberts-Davis (4/5)