Gallen copped a knee injury only a quarter of the way into the game, and had to be taken from the field. It’s believed to be a hyper-extension of the knee at this stage.
Maitua, who came on to replace Gallen suffered a similar fate when he was struck down with a lower leg injury and also carried from the field.
It was the backrowers curse as Anthony Tupou was forced off with concussion in the 42nd minute – giving both Cronulla debutants a nightmare start to 2009.
In a physical mate, the Knights suffered injuries of their own too.
Knights forward Ben Cross was the victim of a heacy gang tackle very early on and had to be replaced.
Promising forward Cory Paterson went off near half time with a cork injury to his thigh. and star Knights man Kurt Gidley suffered a bad cut to the head needing stitches. But both Paterson and Gidley returned for the 2nd half.
There was nothing between the two teams; with the scores locked at 6 all at the half time break.
The first try to the Sharks came off a Knights error, Mullen throwing a risky pass that was gobbled up by Corey Hughes and promptly touched down.
Mullen got his own back soon after, the crafty Knights half grubbering for Richie Fa’aoso to score and get Newcastle on the board amid all the carnage.
It took an age for the next bout of points, coming through Cameron Ciraldo off a nice Ben Rogers ball – allowing the Knights to setup a 10-6 lead with only 20 minutes to go.
Elusive Sharks flanker David Simmons got his side back in touch, touching down off a pin-point Blake Green kick, with Covell missing the conversion.
Simmons got himself a double soon after, closing out the game for Cronulla scoring off another kick; this time from Corey Hughes.
CRONULLA 14 (D Simmons 2, C Hughes tries; L Covell goal) beat NEWCASTLE 10 (R Fa’aoso, C Ciraldo tries; C Paterson goal) at Cessnock Sportsground. Crowd: 3260. Refs: S Lyons, B Suttor.