Gallen caps Sharks win in Magic Round opener

Paul Gallen crashed over for a last-gasp try in his final game at Suncorp Stadium as Cronulla Sharks started the inaugural NRL Magic Round with a 26-18 win over Gold Coast Titans.

Cronulla lost props Andrew Fifita and Matt Prior to injury in the opening period but produced a second-half fightback to follow up their victory over Melbourne Storm last weekend with another triumph in Brisbane on Thursday, climbing to seventh in the ladder.

Chad Townsend laid on a first-half double for Josh Morris with an inviting pass and a grubber kick either side of Dale Copley scooping up with one hand before surging over at the other end.

Tries from Alexander Brimson and Tyrone Peachey - both converted by Michael Gordon - gave the struggling Titans an 18-10 advantage at the break.

Garth Brennan's side were unable to avoid a third successive defeat, though, as Cronulla rallied in the second half to take the points.

Aaron Gray finished twice in the space of 11 minutes and Kyle Flanagan edged the Sharks in front with a well-struck penalty with just under six minutes remaining.

Former New South Wales Blues captain Gallen, who will retire at the end of the season, put the icing on the cake at the death by ploughing his way over next to the right post after taking a clever pass from Blayke Brailey.

The Sharks skipper added insult to injury by slotting over the conversion in his final act at the home of Queensland Maroons.

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