Titans win over Cronulla, feud continues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans win over Cronulla, feud continues

By Laine Clark 30/03/2008 06:14:07 AM Comments (0)

Try as they might, the Titans failed to pour cold water over their simmering feud with Cronulla following an 18-4 NRL victory at the Gold Coast.

Titans co-captain Luke Bailey described as "a bit grubby" Sharks skipper Paul Gallen's "massage" of Anthony Laffranchi's heavily bandaged head which forced the classy backrower off the field on Saturday night.

But coach John Cartwright stepped in to pull the pin on Bailey's criticism in a bid not to further stoke a rivalry with his former Sydney Roosters mentor Ricky Stuart's Cronulla outfit.

The last time they met, the Titans camp called Sharks star Greg Bird a "diver" following a spiteful round 24 clash.

Laffranchi's battle with Gallen began in the ninth minute when the backrower suffered a nasty gash in a head clash with the Sharks skipper.

He bravely came back heavily bandaged but earned no favours from Gallen who pushed into Laffranchi's head in a 68th minute tackle that earned the ire of referee Jason Robinson.

Gallen's actions reopened Laffranchi's head wound, forcing the workhorse off the field for good.

It also appeared to reopen Cronulla's feud with the Titans.

"It was a bit grubby," Bailey said of Gallen's actions.

But Cartwright cut Bailey off, saying: "We will just have a look at it. It doesn't matter what we think of it, it looked as though there was not a lot in the way for everyone to see."

Cartwright said Laffranchi had suffered mild concussion and a "nasty cut".

"He probably shouldn't have went back on the field at all, he won't remember much of it tomorrow," Cartwright said.

Gallen did not want to weigh into the issue.

"I just put my hand on his head to get up, happens every tackle," he said of the incident.

It added spice to a dour clash that the Gold Coast won three tries to one after keeping the Sharks scoreless in the second half.

It ended the Sharks' amazing away record following back to back wins over last year's grand finalists.

After trailing 4-0 at halftime, the Gold Coast laid on tries through Mat Rogers (47th), Brad Meyers (55th) and flying winger Jordan Atkins (74th) to keep their perfect record intact at their new Robina home.

Cartwright rated the win higher than their opening round thrashing of North Queensland.

"I was more pleased considering the side that we were playing were probably the form side of the competition," he said.

"I was thinking before the game that I knew it was going to be a tight game and we haven't won a lot of tight games.

"We haven't got down and dirty with sides. And we were playing probably the best side at that tonight."

Bailey agreed: "I was more proud of the boys for this week's win."

It brought a disappointing end to a controversial week for the Sharks.

Cronulla became embroiled in the shoulder charge controversy after losing prop Ben Ross for seven games for a hit on Melbourne's Cooper Cronk.

Backrower Reece Williams and pivot Brett Seymour (both knee) then broke down.

Stuart's anxiety on Saturday night was not helped by Blake Green suffering what appeared to be an ankle injury.

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