Cronulla have booked a spot in their first grand final since 1997 after knocking out the defending NRL champions North Queensland 32-20.
Cronulla have never won a premiership in their 49-year history but are now through to the decider next weekend after an impressive display.
The Sharks will face either Canberra or Melbourne in the NRL‘s showpiece next weekend.
Cronulla started strongly while a tired Cowboys side made error after error.
The Sharks had two tries disallowed in the first eight minutes but remain composed, eventually crossing through Sosiai Feki.
The Cowboys hit back early in the second as Lachlan Coote scored.
But the Sharks went up a gear with tries coming to Luke Lewis and two to man of the match Maloney.
The halfback scored two tries and set up Townsend’s first half effort.
Kyle Feldt grabbed two consolation tries and Coen Hess one in the final 10 minutes for the Cowboys.