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20 Sep 2017 1:38
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Titanic defence drowns Cronulla

    Gold Coast coach Neil Henry has lauded his side's defence, and Ash Taylor's maturity, after a 30-10 upset defeat of Cronulla.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    The maturity of Ash Taylor and a desperate Gold Coast defence drowned Cronulla in horrendous conditions on Saturday night.

    Heavy rain swept through the Gold Coast before and during the clash, flooding the playing arena and making conventional rugby league near impossible.

    But the 22-year-old Taylor rose above it, crossing for a double and setting up two more tries in the 30-10 romp.

    "I think it's up there (with his best performances)," Henry said of Taylor.

    "It was nice to see him show maturity when he had to. It's a real positive sign for him; he's maturing all the time."

    After a quiet State of Origin decider, Jarryd Hayne might have thought his bad week would get worse when he dropped a high ball in the opening minutes.

    But his resolute defence from fullback was noted by Henry in a win that keeps the Titans within striking distance of the finals.

    "The commitment to get to the ball was very, very good, which shows a desperation in our defence," Henry said.

    "I think it (the defensive effort) set the game up."

    Taylor set the tone for the night as his first-half grubber kick found Konrad Hurrell for the opening points and his solo effort from a scrum gave the Titans an 8-0 half-time lead.

    The puddles disappeared in the second half, but the drier conditions only served to tighten Taylor's grip on the game as he propped, dummied and side-stepped from close range to score his second in the 43rd minute.

    He wasn't done there, timing a short ball perfectly to put Kevin Proctor through a gap for a 20-0 lead.

    Joe Greenwood then finished a terrific team try, and when Patrick Politoni barged over soon after it was 30-0 with 14 minutes to play.

    The Sharks only avoided an embarrassing whitewash when Kurt Capewell and Sosaia Feki scored inside the final 10 minutes.

    Sharks five-eighth James Maloney was rested after reporting neck soreness on Friday, while Jack Bird limped off with a sternum complaint in the second half not thought to be serious.

    Sharks coach Shane Flanagan said Maloney's absence did not alter the result.

    "(Even if) Superman plays tonight, we don't win," he said.

    "Conditions were awful but we didn't handle those conditions and they were just too good for us in the second half."

    © 2017 NZN, NZCity


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