A 69th minute Hailee-Jay Ormond-Maunsell try enabled the Titans to maintain their unbeaten start to the NRLW season with a 10-8 defeat of the Sharks at PointsBet Stadium.
Trailing 8-0 at halftime, the Titans did not lead at any time in the match until Ormond-Maunsell dived over to score with just 90 seconds on the clock and snatch victory after fullback Evania Pelite combined with halfback Sienna Lofipo.
Pelite was a standout, while Lofipo was involved in both Gold Coast tries and 18-year-old forward Rilee Jorgensen made a huge impact from the interchange with some bruising tackles.
The last-gasp win followed last weekend's golden point triumph against the Broncos and the Titans have now won three consecutive matches in the NRLW for the first time since their induction in 2021.
Pelite ran a game-high 200 metres with the ball, including 71 post contact metres, and finished the game with eight tackle breaks.
However, the Sharks dominated the early exchanges and were rewarded when Kiana Takairangi scored in the corner in the 14th minute after a perfectly weighted pass from five-eighth Emma Tonegato and quick hands out wide.
Kiana Takairangi try 14th minute
With Tayla Preston missing the conversion attempt from near the sideline, the Sharks led 4-0.
Cronulla were over again in the 26th minute after a fast shift of the ball to fullback Andie Robinson, whose pace and determination resulted in a try in the right-side corner.
Another missed conversion attempt by Preston saw the Sharks leading 8-0.
Andie Robinson try 26th minute
The visitors lifted their intensity when Jorgensen came on from the bench, and she immediately made her presence felt with some strong tackles, including one which left Tonegato gasping for breath after passing the ball.
The first half was full of errors and penalties, although it was an evenly distributed completion rate with both teams completing at over 75 percent.
The Titans came out firing in the second half and had the first opportunity to score, only for Kiwi Ferns lock Georgia Hale to be ruled to have been short of the line in the 44th minute.
Gold Coast didn’t have to wait long before being awarded their first try of the match with Shaylee Bent scoring in the 45th minute after a failed strip by Holli Wheeler forced the ball loose from Lofipo.
Shaylee Bent try 45th minute
Lauren Brown's conversion reduced the deficit for the visitors to 8-6 and they finished stronger than the Sharks.
A Pelite offload and a short ball from Lofipo created space for Ormond-Maunsell to score in the 69th minute and put the Titans ahead for the first time in the match.
Match: Sharks v Titans
Round 3 -
Venue: PointsBet Stadium, Sydney
- The Titans made it three wins in a row for the first time since the club joined the NRLW.
- Star fullback Evania Pelite again led the run metres for Gold Coast, racking up 200m with the ball.
- Jillaroos World Cup forward Holli Wheeler made an impressive Sharks NRLW debut after recovering from knee surgery and ran 97 metres in 49 minutes.
- Cronulla second-rower Vanessa Foliaki failed to finish the match after being forced from the field for a HIA in the 56th minute.
- The crowd for the first stand-alone NRLW match at PointsBet Stadium was 3029.
Pelite's path to the Gold Coast
Play of the game
With just 90 seconds remaining on the clock, star fullback Evania Pelite managed an offload near the Sharks line for halfback Sienna Lofipo, who put winger Ormond-Maunsell over with a short pass to snatch a 10-8 win for the Titans.
Hailee-Jay Ormond-Maunsell try 68th minute
What they said
“I thought we set the blueprint up in the first half and played some really good footy, and in the second half we just couldn’t seem to get to where we wanted to and we didn’t kick well, and we just seem to go away from the plan, we didn’t challenge them enough and they come and got us in the end.” – Sharks coach Tony Herman
Sharks: Round 3
"I am super proud of their effort today coming off the close win last week. It was a disappointing first half, I thought with our effort and how we probably showed up in those areas that we want to be good at this year, so you know half time was a bit of a turning point for us where we spoke about again the footy team we want to be this year, so that is why our second half was really pleasing.” – Titans coach Karyn Murphy.
Titans: Round 3
Cronulla are at home again next Sunday when they host Sydney Roosters on at PointsBet Stadium, while the Titans are on the road the second week in a row as they travel to Newcastle to play the Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The Titans are hopeful of having star recruit Taliah Fuimaono available for selection after an ankle injury left her sidelined since round one.
The Sharks will be hoping fullback Jada Taylor is available to return from an ankle injury, while prop Harata Butler has completed her one-match suspension for a hip drop tackle.