Panthers hold out Sharks in Penrith

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Sharks workhorse Cameron McInnes managed to break the NRL record for most tackles in a game with 81 but it was not enough as the Panthers claimed their 10th win from their past 11.

Cronulla’s Will Kennedy lasted just five minutes before succumbing to a hamstring tear forcing Connor Tracey to shift to fullback.

The hosts struck first just six minutes in through Jarome Luai who was the beneficiary of a ricocheting Nathan Cleary grubber and subsequent Scott Sorensen flick.

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Their second came a quarter into the match with Isaah Yeo diving on another Cleary grubber that a lunging Nicho Hynes was unable to clean up.

A monster 40/20 courtesy of Cleary laid the platform for a right edge shift that resulted in a four-pointer for Brian To’o off a slick pair of Stephen Crichton hands.

To’o managed to keep his feet off the ground and plant the ball down despite a desperate Sharks cover effort.

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Cleary went awfully close to producing another try off the boot just shy of half-time after Sione Katoa spilt the ball in-goal but the video officials ruled that the Sharks winger got a finger to the ball prior to the oncoming Panthers.

Sorensen produced a fanciful flick pass on the other side of the half for Penrith’s fourth with Fijian international Sunia Turuva scurrying over off the back of it in the left corner.

The Sharks went close to producing a beauty from inside their own half just shy of the hour mark after Katoa and Jack Williams found space down the right touchline but Penrith’s trademark scramble snuffed the raid out.


Tyrone Peachey was binned for the contact, however, with video officials picking up a swinging arm.

The hosts were hardly deterred being a man down with a Cleary kick producing yet another try for edge forward Liam Martin.

Cleary nailed another 40/20 in the dying stages, but the scoring had dried up as the Panthers came away with a 28-0 win to continue their march towards the minor premiership.

Cleary finished with a pair of try assists, 121 run metres with four tackle breaks, and 781 kick metres whilst Yeo scored a try, ran for 191 metres with five tackle breaks, and made 34 tackles.

For the visitors, McInnes ran for 93 metres and made an absurd 81 tackles whilst Katoa ran for 160 metres with three tackle breaks and a line break.

The Sharks are back in action next Saturday night against the Rabbitohs in Perth in a crucial clash between two sides jostling for top eight spots.

Cameron Laing
Owner | Local Supporter
Shire Talk

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