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Pulu stars in Titans' NRL upset of Sharks

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/04/2017 Matt Encarnacion

Leivaha Pulu © Matt Roberts/Getty Images Leivaha Pulu A contentious 76th minute try to Leivaha Pulu has given the Gold Coast a shock come-from-behind win over Cronulla on Saturday night, to snap a four-game NRL losing streak.

The Titans were down by two points when Pulu finished off a left-side scramble, which included an offside Ryan Simpkins being ruled inactive by the bunker, to snatch a 16-12 victory.

Pulu crossed twice in the final 13 minutes to be the unlikely hero for a Titans side that welcomed back Jarryd Hayne, Kevin Proctor and Konrad Hurrell from injury.

In front of a crowd of 12,397 at Southern Cross Group Stadium, the Sharks appeared headed for a fifth-straight win when James Maloney's 60th-minute penalty gave them a six-point lead.

However, the visitors set up a thrilling finish when a quick-thinking Hayne hit Pulu on a blindside play to cut the deficit.

The impact forward then snatched the win after Chad Townsend fumbled a loose ball, handing the Titans just their second win of the season.

In a closely fought first half, halfback Tyrone Roberts justified coach Neil Henry's decision to drop Kane Elgey by dummying his way over for first points.

The Sharks worked their way in to the contest and hit back through Ricky Leutele in the 24th minute, before Jayson Bukuya was awarded a penalty try not long after.

Bukuya looked certain to win the race to a Townsend grubber but was adjudged by the bunker to have been held back by Dale Copley.

In bad news for the Titans, forward Chris Grevsmuhl suffered a possible dislocated shoulder in the first half and Copley came off the field with a back problem in the second half.

Second-rower Chris McQueen was the third Titans player unable to finish the match after a second concussion test.

The Sharks' Bukuya suffered a shoulder injury.

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