NRL: Sharks streak snapped after draw with Titans

Titans 18 Sharks 18
Greg Bird of the Titans and Paul Gallen of the Sharks embrace after an 18-all draw. Photo / Getty
Greg Bird of the Titans and Paul Gallen of the Sharks embrace after an 18-all draw. Photo / Getty

Cronulla's remarkable NRL winning streak has come to an end after a remarkable 18-all draw with Gold Coast at Robina on Monday night.

Neither team could find a winning point in two halves of extra time, despite both having opportunities to secure the win with several field goal attempts being charged down.

The Sharks, chasing a 16th consecutive victory, had the best opportunities with five-eighth James Maloney missing three field goal attempts, including one shot which hit a post in the first half of golden point.

Titans rookie Ash Taylor also missed a trio of field goal shots while wrecking-ball centre Konrad Hurrell was held up over the line in the dying seconds of an enthralling contest.

The Sharks nearly scored on the very last play of the match but centre Josh Hoffman desperately dove to gather a loose kick and ensure the clash ended all-square.

The result leaves the Sharks on top of the NRL ladder, just one point clear of Melbourne. Gold Coast are seventh on 23 points, just one behind Queensland rivals Brisbane.

The Sharks began brightly in front of 14,981 fans at CBUS Super Stadium with Valentine Holmes crashing over in the seventh minute after a slick backline move.

They then opened up a 12-point lead when Jackson Bird scored in the 30th minute in the following set after Titans fullback David Mead was sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul on Sharks' hooker Michael Ennis.

Despite being a man down, the Titans hit back before halftime with Chris McQueen scoring his fourth try in the past three weeks when Sharks' winger Sosaia Feki spilt a bomb into his hands.

Mead levelled scores just after the break when he held onto a sharp pass from Tyrone Roberts to crash over before Hurrell's inspired flick pass in the 55th minute sent Anthony Don flying into the corner for a six-point Titans lead.

Sharks prop Andrew Fifita barrelled over from short range with seven minutes left to lock up the scores at 18-all, but neither team could find the decisive breakthrough.

Sharks coach Shane Flanagan said the result was a hollow one and only enhanced his belief that the game should do away with golden point.

"It's an absolute lottery isn't it?," Flanagan said.

"They were all offside. We were offside. There was chargedowns. Penalties should have been given. It's a joke golden point. It's an absolute joke."

The Titans endured the extra periods without Tyrone Roberts after the five-eighth hurt his knee but coach Neil Henry expects the playmaker to be fit to face the Warriors on Sunday. Stand-in Titans captain Ryan James claimed Wade Graham, filling in for the benched Paul Gallen, had "lied" about his call at the coin toss before the start of extra time.

James said Graham had told the referees he'd called heads when he'd originally called tails, forcing the toss to be redone and handing the Sharks a potentially decisive edge when they subsequently won the right to receive the first kick-off in golden point.

"It should have been us receiving but we had to kick-off and we would have had that extra set," he said.

"I was frustrated about that."

GOLD COAST 18 (A Don C McQueen D Mead tries T Roberts 3 goals) drew CRONULLA 18 (J Bird A Fifita V Holmes tries J Maloney 3 goals) after golden-point extra time at Cbus Super Stadium. Referee: Gerard Sutton, Alan Shortall. Crowd: 14,918.


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