Gold Coast Titans upset Cronulla Sharks 18-12

IAN MCCULLOUGH
Last updated 00:45 11/03/2014
Paul Gallen
Getty Images
CAPTAIN DOWN: The Sharks first-up loss came at a further cost with the loss of Origin star and club talisman Paul Gallen to an ankle injury.

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Cronulla's difficult start to the 2014 NRL season continued on Monday with the Gold Coast recording an 18-12 win over the Sharks at Remondis Stadium.

With coach Shane Flanagan failing in his appeal to overturn a 12-month ban from the NRL last week, the Sharks, already without Todd Carney, Jeff Robson, Beau Ryan and Chris Heighington, lost talismanic skipper Paul Gallen with a potentially serious ankle injury.

Gallen, who was celebrating his 233rd appearance for the Sharks - second behind club great Andrew Ettingshausen - was helped off late in the first half after being held up in a tackle by Titans duo Luke Bailey and Matt White.

The Titans were deserving winners, claiming the two points with a William Zillman try nine minutes from time following a smart grubber-kick from former Shark Albert Kelly.

John Cartwright's side dominated the opening exchanges but had nothing to show for their dominance and the hosts took the lead against the run of play when new signing Tinirau Arona darted over from close range.

Michael Gordon added the extras to open up a 6-0 lead, but the outstanding Greg Bird, another former Shark, helped level the scores when he bulldozed his way over the line after 25 minutes before Kelly raced away with 90-metre interception for four points.

Titans five-eighth Aidan Sezer missed the kick, giving the visitors a 10-6 lead at halftime.

The second half saw the Sharks control the early passages of play and they regained the lead when Wade Graham's effort - disallowed by the on-field officials - was overruled by the video referee and Gordon kicked the goal.

A Sezer penalty put the Titans back on level terms before fullback Zillman got the final touch to Kelly's kick to give his side a winning start to the new campaign.

Titans prop Luke Douglas set a new record with his 195th successive NRL match.

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- AAP

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