NYC Sharks sink Titans
The Sharks have solidified their spot in the Holden Cup top four with a comprehensive 52-16 victory over the Gold Coast Titans on Saturday evening.
The Titans got off to a bright start with Daniel Brownbill making early inroads into the Cronulla defence, but it was the home side who opened the scoring when Kyle Flanagan raced through to ground a Blayke Brailey grubber in the ninth minute.
The hosts moved further in front when winger Johnathan Tufuga crashed over from close range before his partner on the left edge, Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga, touched down to make it 16-0 after 25 minutes.
The Sharks added to their lead when behemoth prop Eddie Faalua smashed his way over for a thoroughly-deserved try before Tony Matautia grounded a Flanagan grubber to round out the first-half scoring.
Any thought of a second-half momentum shift was quickly put to bed when Faalua carried three defenders to crash over for his second try of the evening to make it 34-0.
Gold Coast fans finally had reason to cheer after 50 minutes when Ethan Roberts raced through to ground a grubber from halves partner AJ Brimson to score next to the posts.
Their joy didn't last long however, as the Sharks hit straight back through Brailey who finished off some nice work by Joshua Carr to make it 40-6 before Matautia bullied his way past several would-be defenders to complete his double.
To their credit the Titans never gave up and pegged a couple of tries back through Curtis Dansey-Smaller and Keenan Yorston in the final 10 minutes, but it was the Sharks who had the final say when Brailey set up Sione Katoa for the half-century.
Sharks 52 (Eddie Faalua 2, Tony Matautia 2, Kyle Flanagan, Johnathan Tufuga, Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga, Blayke Brailey, Sione Katoa tries; Kyle Flanagan 8 goals) def. Titans 16 (Ethan Roberts, Curtis Dansey-Smaller, Keenan Yorston tries; Ethan Roberts 2 goals) at Southern Cross Group Stadium. Half-time: 28-0