Young Panthers succumb to Sharks attack

The Jersey Flegg Panthers have been taught a lesson by the table-topping Cronulla Sharks, going down 24-4 at Panthers Stadium on Friday.

With three debutants to play in the NRL side, regular Jersey Flegg fullback Charlie Staines and playmaker Brendan Hands were promoted to Canterbury Cup.

Penrith had several chances to trouble the Sharks but were clunky in attack.

Wind also wreaked havoc on both sides as passes and kicks flew all over the place, making even the simple task of holding on to the ball a challenge.

A lack of urgency saw Cronulla score the first try of the afternoon when Jack Boyling pounced onto a Jayden Millard kick.

Penrith eventually hit back after great vision from five-eighth Adam Fearnley, kicking towards the corner for centre Shannon Harris.

Angus Ernst then shoved it on to Franklin Pele who was simply too big and too strong as he charged over to score.

Jonaiah Lualua sent over the first successful conversion of the game in testing conditions to extend their lead to six.

Cronulla quickly went back-to-back as Ernst broke through to run away and find Tom Caughlan backing up in support. 

HALF-TIME: Panthers 4 Sharks 14

Pele almost had his second of the afternoon when he again stormed through a number of Penrith defenders only to drop the ball over the line.

The close call sparked the Panthers into action as strong individual efforts denied Cronulla.

The first came when Millard sliced through a hole on the left edge before being dragged down by Alexander Myles with the line in sight.

Fullback Glenn McGrady then took down Jackson Stewart in another impressive one-on-one effort right on the try line.

Penrith couldn’t scramble to deny Cooper Bowen though, the Sharks centre chasing down a kick and getting his hands to the ball first in the in-goal area.

The Panthers had a few chances to fight back late in the contest but were unable to find any real fluency.

Cronulla then put an exclamation mark on the victory in the final minutes as Lorenzo Mulitalo turned on the footwork to step through and score next to the posts.

FULL-TIME: Panthers 4 Sharks 24