Sharks end Titans' winning streak - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks end Titans' winning streak

By Ben Horne 28/08/2010 09:20:16 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast suffered a blow to their top four hopes with a surprise 30-16 loss to Cronulla on Saturday night, but the Titans are confident the set back is just a blip on their finals radar.

The Titans will need to beat Wests Tigers next week to cement a home final, however they were far from panicked after their five-match winning streak came to an end at the hands of the gutsy Sharks.

However, of concern for coach John Cartwright is the health of in-form five-eighth Mat Rogers, who left the field early with a hip-flexor injury.

The visitors had it all to play for but Cronulla looked a team on a mission as they fought to send retiring veterans Trent Barrett and Luke Covell out winners on home soil at Toyota Park.

Covell had a night to remember scoring the opening try from an intercept and going on to kick a perfect five from five.

Sharks coach Shane Flanagan was delighted his side could farewell two of their most experienced players with victory, but wasn't convinced Covell would bag a try as his notorious lack of pace threatened to stop him on a 45 metre dash to the line in the seventh minute of play.

"I was up in the box and there were some people cheering and my first thought was he won't get there but it was great for him to score," Flanagan said of Covell taking the loose pass from Titans captain Scott Prince, and then fending the halfback off to get over the line. "I was so happy for Trent and Cov, they've been great players, both represented their country and they've been great club men." Video referee Bill Harrigan made an easy return to the box after his axing, with not one of the eight tries being sent upstairs for checking.

It was also Greg Bird's first trip back to The Shire after being sacked by Cronulla in 2008.

Bird got the chance to start and his aggressive play in attack and defence led the way for an otherwise flat Titans outfit, who struggled without Prince on his game.

"It wasn't really the desired result but that was only a small blimp on the matches that are going to be coming up in the next few weeks for us," said Bird, who only got a few boos from fans and spent plenty of time in the Sharks sheds after the match.

Cronulla got off to a strong start and took an 18-6 advantage into halftime after Gallen - who Flanagan praised as the best back rower in the NRL - set up a try for Nathan Gardner and then scored one himself.

The Titans came out firing early in the second, and dynamic interchange player Bodene Thompson scored his second try of the night - after some incredible lead-up work which saw the ball kicked twice and touched by seven sets of hands.

However, the Sharks wrapped up one of their most convincing wins of the season when halfback Tim Smith kicked for himself and dived over in the 57th minute.

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