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Young Panthers score thrilling comeback win over Sharks

A thrilling comeback has seen the Penrith Panthers claim a vital win over the Cronulla Sharks in Jersey Flegg at BlueBet Stadium.

Down 16-0 in the first half, the Panthers launched a stirring comeback to claim the win 22-20, allowing them to jump three points clear of the Sharks in 3rd position on the ladder.

The Panthers were their own worst enemies throughout the first half, with continuous errors putting them under pressure.

Errors down their own end led to each of the first two tries, as the Sharks shifted right from a scrum for Kristian Dixon to score in the corner.

Another error four minutes later put the Sharks on the attack again, where a leaping Harry O’Kane juggled a bomb and touched down. Dixon converted to give the Sharks a 10-0 lead.

The Panthers enjoyed several sets attacking the Sharks line off the back of a run of penalties, however they were unable to cross, despite some close calls.

An error by Liam Ison attacking a Sharks grubber put the visitors deep on the attack again shortly after, where Lachlan Crouch crashed over next to the uprights.

The Panthers finally got on the board on the half hour mark when Luron Patea broke through the line and found Liam Ison in support to send the fullback away to score under the posts to cut the margin to 16-6.

Blake Moore came close to further reducing the deficit a minute before half time, only to lose the ball attempting to reach out and plant it down.

The Panthers made a much better start to the second half, with Ison slicing through to get the margin back to a converted try.

A long-range break by Billy Phillips ended when he was cut down just short of the tryline. It mattered for little though as a shift back to the middle of the field saw Patea crash over. Nohra converted to level the scores with 25 minutes remaining.

The Sharks took back the lead in the 52nd minute when Noah Lester sliced through, with Dixon’s conversion attempt bouncing away off the left-hand upright to leave the score at 20-16.

With time running down, an error by the Sharks gave the Panthers a golden opportunity to snatch the game. Connor Mason came close, only to be held up, before Patea crashed over for his second alongside the posts, giving Nohra simple kick to take a two-point lead a minute before full time.

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.