Ice-cool Townsend snatches Sharks win, Raiders beat Cowboys

Chad Townsend's late drop goal snatched a 10-9 victory for Cronulla Sharks over Gold Coast Titans and Canberra Raiders defended heroically to beat North Queensland Cowboys in the NRL on Saturday.

A disappointing encounter at Cbus Super Stadium looked to be heading for extra time when Ash Taylor bisected the posts with a field goal in the 77th minute, but Townsend was on target 90 seconds from the hooter to settle it.

Cronulla's victory may have come at a cost, though, as New South Wales State of Origin star Josh Dugan limped off with a leg injury before Townsend's decisive strike.

The Sharks were missing Paul Gallen, Wade Graham and Luke Lewis but Valentine Holmes went over following a mistake from Michael Gordon - who opened the scoring with a penalty - and Edrick Lee touched down before Townsend's first drop goal made it 9-2 at the break. 

Mitch Rein's converted score early in the second half reduced the deficit to only a point and Taylor held his nerve to level from 30 yards, but Townsend had the final say, sealing back-to-back wins for Shane Flanagan's men.

The Cowboys halted a five-match losing streak by seeing off the Titans last weekend, but have only two wins out of eight after they went down 18-8 to the Raiders in Townsville.

Converted tries from Gavin Cooper and Josh Papalii left the two sides locked at 6-6 at half-time, but Canberra produced a strong defensively display and won it courtesy of scores from Aidan Sezer and Siliva Havili after Johnathan Thurston had briefly put the Cowboys in front from the tee.

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