Sharks continue Titans' woes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sharks continue Titans' woes

Wayne Heming 25/06/2011 10:29:10 PM Comments (0)

In-form NSW skipper Paul Gallen has sent an ominous warning to Queensland for State of Origin III with two powerhouse tries for Cronulla, with the Sharks continuing Gold Coast's miserable NRL season in a 36-12 win at Skilled Park.

It was a Saturday night of try-scoring doubles for the Sharks, with young winger Nathan Stapleton and fullback Nathan Gardner also scoring twice, although Anthony Tupou could contest Gardner's second touchdown after appearing to get his hand to the ball first.

Sharks' coach Shane Flanagan gave Gallen a well-deserved early mark, ten minutes from fulltime, as a reward for his 29 tackles, 126 metres, 16 hit ups and two tries.

Cronulla punished the Titans in the second half on the back of Gallen's charges, posting their fifth win of the season and backing up their strong display last weekend against the Bulldogs.

Gallen's double in the space of five minutes turned the Sharks' 12-8 lead into a deflating 24-8 advantage after just 14 minutes of second-half action.

His first was unstoppable. He charged onto a good ball from centre Colin Best 10 metres out, with young Gold Coast fullback Jordan Rankin only able to look on as the NSW captain smashed through two teammates.

A pumped Gallen demanded the ball on the right side for his second try five minutes later, stretching out with his left arm after Titans' hooker Matt Srama had done exceptionally well to bring him down a metre short of the tryline.

Gallen's double took the sting out of the home crowd, before Titans' winger Steve Michaels contorted to get the ball down one-handed, as Sharks' halfback Chad Townsend dragged him across the corner post.

But that was the end of the home side's comeback at 24-12, the Sharks putting on two more tries to complete an impressive night.

The Titans took the field without late scratchings Luke Bailey and Preston Campbell.

Sharks' coach Flanagan said the victory was a team effort and didn't just come off the back of Gallen's hard work.

Gallen, who felt the Sharks were sluggish in the first half, spoke to his players during the break about playing with more energy in the second 40 minutes.

He backed up his words with two tries in the first 14 minutes to take the game away from the Titans.

"I thought we were sluggish. Our energy wasn't good," said Gallen.

"I asked the guys to roll up their sleeves and go through the middle."

Losing coach John Cartwright said the game slipped away from the Titans early in the second half when they were "very poor".

"We were in the game at halftime but our second half start was bad," he said.

"We're going through something we've not been through before as a group.

"You guys (media) can write what you like but I could see the effort being put in."

Halfback Scott Prince, who said they gave the Sharks far too much possession, described being in last place as a "weird feeling".

"I can't put my finger on it, but I know I will be working very hard.

"It hurts. It hurts a lot."

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