Away sides downs injury hit Cronulla outfit at home.
The Cronulla Sharks have been left counting the cost of their first loss of the 2014 NRL season for more than one reason, with several big names not able to finish the game as they went down 18-12.
Gallen looks set to miss at least a month with a high ankle sprain, after he played no part in the game in the second half.
Making life even worse for the Sharks was star prop Andrew Fifita being placed on report for a shoulder charge tackle similar to Roosters’ Sonny Bill Williams, which earned him a grade two and three weeks out of action.
To begin the game both sides felt each other out and struggled to get good ball inside the opposition red-zone.
However, on the back of a penalty and a forced goal-lone drop out, the Titans started to pepper the Sharks’ try-line after 11 minutes had passed after the passed up the chance for an easy two points via a kick at goal.
After a continued effort, Gold Coast crossed after a dart from dummy-half from hooker Beau Faloon.
However, an amazing defensive effort from Sharks skipper Paul Gallen, saw him strip the
ball just enough for the video referee to rule Faloon lost control of the ball.
In the blink of an eye the Sharks went the length the field in the next set, with Tinirau Arona scoring in his debut for the club after joining Cronulla from the Sydney Roosters last season.
Michael Gordan slotted the extras and the home side grabbed a crucial 6-0 lead, with both sides seemingly evenly marched though the first 20 minutes.
Jonathan Wright was ruled not to have scored after the Titans coughed up the ball coming out of their own half, with the video ref ruling the Sharks’ back had his foot on the touchline as he grounded a grubber kick.
Gold Coast opened their account for 2014 when Greg Bird bashed his way across the line after his side earned a penalty close to the Sharks’ line.
Despite scrutiny from the video ref for a possible obstruction, the offcials gave the try as the score became 6-all in the 24th minute.
Cronulla suffered a potentially massive blow for the rest of the their season, when skipper Paul Gallen was assisted off the field with a leg or knee injury.
Gold Coast scored in the 32rd minute against the run of play, as Albert Kelly swooped on a loose pass to race 90 metres the other direction and score out wide.
The second half saw the Sharks control the early passages of play and they regained the lead when Wade Graham’s effort – disallowed by the on-field officials – was overruled by the video referee and Gordon kicked the goal.
A Sezer penalty put the Titans back on level terms before fullback Zillman got the final touch to Kelly’s kick to give his side a winning start to the new campaign.
Titans prop Luke Douglas set a new record with his 195th successive NRL match.
GOLD COAST 18 (G Bird A Kelly W Zillman tries A Sezer 3 goals) bt CRONULLA 12 (T Arona W Graham tries M Gordon 2 goals).
Aiden Sezer could not add the extras as the score became 10-6 before half-time.