Kotoni Staggs shines as Brisbane pull off Lang Park ambush on high-flying Cronulla
Their duel in the centres was the week's talking point after the pair's form saw them surge into NSW State of Origin contention.
But it was the Broncos firebrand who left Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night with the upper hand, smothering the rampaging Talakai and scoring a brilliant try of his own.
Victory burst the Sharks' bubble as they fell to 5-3, while Brisbane (4-4) will spend the night nestled inside the top eight on the live ladder.
The win came after Adam Reynolds copped a stray elbow to the nose in the 34th minute, the Broncos skipper returning for the second half stitched up after passing his head injury assessment.
The Sharks looked slick in the first half but lacked polish at the pointy end of their sets, completing just 11 of their first 17.
It meant they missed their chance to build a lead, five-eighth Matt Moylan's grubber kick to himself their only try of the half.
Brisbane found a reply soon after Reynolds' exit, the impressive Tyson Gamble and Te Maire Martin going right to a rampaging Staggs who dummied and left both Talakai and Ronaldo
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