Last Time Played: Sharks v Titans
The Titans beat the Sharks 20-16 at Toyota Stadium in Round 22 last year in a clash that featured arguably the best pick-up to score in the history of the game.
Titans winger David Mead opened the scoring in the third minute when he latched onto a Jordan Rankin cut-out pass to dive over in the right corner, with Scott Prince converting from the sideline for a 4-nil lead.
Cronulla drew level when hooker John Morris darted out of dummy-half 10 metres out from the Titans goal line and dummied his way over. The Titans edged ahead when Scott Prince piloted over a penalty goal before the star halfback combined with Mead for a truly highlights reel moment: in the 35th minute from a play-the-ball on the left edge the Titans spread the ball right, with Prince chipping for the right corner post for his flying winger. The kick looked like it had too much weight on it and was heading over the sideline before Mead snatched it one-handed on the half-volley just a metre out, then grounded for a miraculous try and a 12-4 lead at the break.
The Sharks pulled to within two points with a Nathan Stapleton penalty goal soon after the resumption before William Zillman took advantage of a quick play-the-ball to charge over from first receiver for the Titans to extend their lead to 18-6.
Ben Pomeroy bridged the deficit to 18-12 in the 53rd minute before another Scott Prince penalty goal gave the visitors breathing space with 18 minutes remaining.
A try to Sharks winger Ricky Leutele with three minutes remaining gave Sharks fans hope but the Titans held firm.
It was a stellar effort by the Titans – they were savaged in the penalty count (10-3) and had to make a massive 98 more tackles than the home side. Cronulla tried to run their opponents off their feet, making a whopping 21 offloads and seven line-breaks.
The Titans were well-served by David Mead and back-rower Mark Minichiello (12 runs for 125 metres plus a game-high seven tackle busts) while fullback Isaac Gordon ran 235 metres for the Sharks.