Rugby League

Cronulla Sharks v Penrith Panthers

s

The Mermaids are dancing and "Up, Up Cronulla" is blasting out of the speakers as the Sharks and their fans celebrate a gutsy victory. The black, white and blue are big arm wrestlers and this afternoon they only just out-oomphed the Panthers. Michael Gordon and Wade Graham were excellent for Cronulla, who were good value, despite losing Todd Carney early on. The Panthers led for most of the match and will be gutted they couldn't snatch the two points. Once again, Wallace and Moylan were outstanding, and Tim Grant played his best game for yonks, but in the end the footy Gods smiled on the Sharks, who picked up only their second win of the season.

Sharks 24 Panthers 20

79th minute:

Paul Gallen and Nigel Plum have just had a massive head clash and Gallens' face looks like a meat tray after the dog's had a go at it. Cripes. 

Sharks 24 Panthers 20

79th minute:

Wow - what a finish. Whare bolted over the line as the Cronulla defence thinned out wide but he spilled the ball on the putdown. In addition, Docker was penalised for obstruction. That's cruel for Panthers fans.

Sharks 24 Panthers 20

live match icons

77th minute:

Humdinger of a try to the Sharks. Gallen started it, running to the left and setting up Wade Graham for a killer run that ended with Robson crashing over for the vital four-pointer. Graham converts.

Sharks 24 Panthers 20

live match icons

73rd minute:

Whare stepped inside Leutele and rocketed down the left flank before passing to Wallace who scored without a hand being laid on him. Soward converts.

Sharks 18 Panthers 20

Back to top
live match icons

68th minute:

Sharks hit back. Michael Gordon steamed through to catch a Robson bomb on the full, out-leaping Moylan and scoring underneath the posts. Spectacular stuff. Like Russell Fairfax in his prime. Gordon converts. Sharks lead for the first time.

Sharks 18 Panthers 14

67th minute:

Big let-off for the Sharks. A crossfield Wallace bomb was gobbled up by Simmons but his right boot was out of play as he threw the ball back in play. 

Sharks 12 Panthers 14

live match icons

64th minute:

Silly play, Andrew Fifita. He and Grant have been niggling each other all arvo, but the Cronulla No.8 went on with it after tackling his opposite number 35m out and the ref blew his whistle. Soward pilots the ball over for the two points.

 

Sharks 12 Panthers 14

61st minute:

Gallen is looking more energised this half: heaps more trademark bulldozing runs from the NSW captain.

Sharks 12 Panthers 12

60th minute:

Panthers go close. From a Wallace bomb, Mansour rose to pluck the synthetic pigskin from the stratosphere but landed awkwardly on his shoulder as he put the ball down. Alas for the Panthers, Docker had knocked on at dummy half. Ever so slight - but definitely a knock-on.

Sharks 12 Panthers 12

Back to top

58th minute:

Fifita looks dangerous when running on the edge of the ruck, but he's coughed up the ball several times this arvo. You'd think, having just signed a 4-year contract with the Endeavour men, his mind would be on the game...

Sharks 12 Panthers 12

live match icons

56th minute:

The equaliser: Cronulla grab a penalty for holding in the tackle, and Gordon smashes over the two from 37m out.

Sharks 12 Panthers 12

54th minute:

Ex-Shark Tyrone Peachey is electric when he gets the ball - real handful for the Cronulla defence.

Sharks 10 Panthers 12

51st minute:

Ooh, that was close. Dean Whare split the Sharks' defence out wide but his Gidley-style flick pass was too low for Dave Simmons to grasp.

Sharks 10 Panthers 12

49th minute:

Another Cronulla six ends with an ordinary Robson bomb and an easy take for Mansour. The Sharks are missing Carney's class.

 

Sharks 10 Panthers 12

Back to top

47th minute:

Another poor end to the six for the Sharks. John Morris's  attacking pass found Feki - on the touchline. 

Sharks 10 Panthers 12

44th minute:

Big Nige Plum has coughed up the ball after a bone-rattling tackle by Tagatese. Boy, does he look filthy. Sharks attack 40m out.

Sharks 10 Panthers 12

42nd minute:

Cronulla mount the first attack but Robson's sixth tackle bomb is a deadset fizzer and the Panthers get a 20m restart. 

Sharks 10 Panthers 12

A few twitter wags are asking whether the Sharks can sign up Benji Marshall for the second half...

Back to top