Rugby: Crisis club Cronulla Sharks win emotional NRL opener

SYDNEY (AFP) - Crisis club Cronulla Sharks overcame a turbulent week of doping scandals to open their National Rugby League season with an emotional 12-10 victory over Gold Coast on Sunday.

It followed a week where up to 14 players were implicated in a swoop by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (Asada) which led to the standing down of head coach Shane Flanagan and the sacking of four other football staff members.

The narrow victory was just the tonic the embattled club and its fans needed ahead of the full ramifications of Asada's investigation in the wake of a wide-ranging Australian Crime Commission (ACC) report into doping in Australian sport.

The Sharks held on for a tenacious victory before their home fans and in the end it was a missed Aidan Sezer conversion that proved the difference with both sides scoring two tries.