Titanic nosedive: Sharks loss plus Titans win equals no finals

Ouch: Cronulla Sharks winger Sione Katoa
on Friday night. Picture: NRL Images

Ouch: Cronulla Sharks winger Sione Katoa on Friday night. Picture: NRL Images

Rugby league is a funny game.

Who would have thought the Cronulla Sharks would become the No.1 supporters of the NZ Warriors.

But that was the case after the Sharks 28-16 loss on Friday night to the Melbourne Storm - which secured them the minor premiership - left them needing some help from the Warriors to make the finals.

But despite Cronulla coach Josh Hannay hoping the Warriors play "the game of their life" the Gold Coast Titans easily took care of the 11-points they needed to jump from 10thto eighth with a 44-0 win.

Toby Rudolf. Picture: NRL Images

Toby Rudolf. Picture: NRL Images

Regardless, the Sharks' resurgence under caretaker coach Hannay has been impressive, with the club at one stage sitting equal second last with a 2-8 record after coach John Morris had been axed.

"They are a resilient bunch and resilience is something that doesn't come easy to young players but they have it," said Hannay, who praised fullback William Kennedy and winger Sione Katoa for their performance against the Storm.

Heading into the break at 12-12, the Sharks couldn't match it with the Storm in the second half with Ryan Papenhuyzen crossing for a hat-trick. A late try to Connor Tracey kept their slim finals hopes alive but the Titans quickly put an end to that with an impressive display. It will be the first time the boys from the Shire won't be playing finals footy since 2014.

Their was a silver lining to the loss with incoming Sharks Dale Finucane and Nicho Hynes instrumental in the win.

Sharks winger Ronaldo Mulitalo, one of several key players on the injured list which includes Shaun Johnson and Wade Graham, tweeted: "Just wasn't meant to be this year. Promise you loyal Shark fans and sponsors we will be better for it next year."