Penrith Panthers have recorded their third straight win with a comprehensive 36-16 victory over Cronulla Sharks at St Marys Leagues Stadium.
Panthers halfback Niwhai Puru was impressive for the home side as he assisted a handful of four-pointers, while winger Daeon Amituanai bagged a double.
Panthers coach Jono Rolfe couldn’t have asked for a better start with Amituanai finishing off a slick shift to the left for the game’s opening try – and Niwhai Puru landed the conversion from the left touchline for a 6-0 lead after five minutes.
The home side doubled their advantage moments later when Hohepa Puru dove on a loose grubber kick for the second try of the afternoon and his brother had no issues with the straightforward conversion.
The Panthers were dominating possession and field position throughout the first half, and after multiple sets on their opponent’s line, the home team produced a replica of the previous four-pointer after 28 minutes. Zac Lipowicz pounced on the ball in the in-goal to extend his side’s lead to 16.
The Sharks responded just before half-time when Jordan Samrani finished off a long-range effort to reduce the deficit to 10 points, however the Panthers had the last laugh before the break.
With seconds left on the clock in the first half, William Fakatoumafi became the third player to score from a grubber kick, giving his side a 22-6 lead at half-time.
HALF-TIME: PANTHERS 22 – SHARKS 6
It was a perfect start to the second half for the Panthers with Amituanai scoring an identical try to what he did in opening half.
The scoring continued moments later when hooker Connor Mason darted from dummy-half for another four-pointed and Puru landed the conversion for a 32-6 advantage.
The away side found the line through Jordan Samrani, but Penrith fullback Isaiah Iongi hit back for another classy four-pointer.
Sharks winger Trentham Petersen scored a consolation try for the away side on the stroke of full-time.
The Panthers will be looking to extend their winning streak to four when they face the Parramatta Eels at BlueBet Stadium on Friday afternoon.
FULL-TIME: PANTHERS 36 – SHARKS 16