Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Fulltime score: Round 11 PENRITH PANTHERS 22 v CRONULLA SHARKS 30 Match summary:
The Sharks headed to Penrith Stadium this afternoon with a grim determination and it paid off as they put in a stellar performance to defeat the Panthers by 30-22.
Early points on the board for the Panthers looked to be the start of something good however the hot and cold moments in the Penrith players game proved to be their downfall as the patience and determination shown by the Sharks started to show through with 3 quick tries midway through the first half.
A deserving lead of 16-6 to the visitors at the break was soon to be extended early in the second half.
This seemed to kick start the Panthers side into action much to the delight of the fans as the Penrith side ran in back to back tries to have them 4 points adrift of the Sharks.
Wesser sin-binned in the 63rd minutes proved to be their downfall as the Sharks ran in two quick tries to seal the match, with the defence of the Sharks a telling factor in the result.
A late consolation try to Clinton for the Panthers not enough to squash the spirit of the Sharks who thoroughly deserved the victory at Penrith Stadium.
They now share equal points with the Broncos at the top of the table while the Panthers will be looking to learn from the result today.
Scorers: PENRITH PANTHERS 22 Tries: Campbell, Priddis, Wesser, Clinton Goals: Campbell 3/4 CRONULLA SHARKS 30 Tries: Simmons, Covell 2, Gallen, Mellor 2 Goals: Covell 3/6
Penrith Football Stadium Referee: Russell Smith Halftime: Sharks 16-6
Live commentary: Brilliant afternoon in Penrith. The Sharks without their major play maker Kimmorley.
0 min: Kick off!
3rd min: NEWS - The Sharks have made a terrific start to the match. Two sets very close to crossing the line
7th min: TRY - PANTHERS 10 metres out from the Penrith line and scrum feed to the Sharks. Against the feed the Panthers push and turn the ball over. Campbell gathers up the ball and ducks under the defence to score. He then converts his try. Panthers 6-0
13th min: TRY - SHARKS Very soft defence by the Panthers, following a mistake by Galea allows Simmons to dart to the corner. Covell converts from out wide. 6-6
18th min: TRY - SHARKS A penalty close to their line allowed the Sharks the luxury of another set of six. A huge overlap to the left hand side allows Covell over out wide. Covell from the sideline, converts after the ball hits the post and went over. Sharks 12-6
22nd min: TRY - SHARKS Another scrum for the Sharks, this time just 20 metres out from their line. 2nd play and Gallen burst through the defence to score. Covell's conversion hits the post once more, but this time the ball veers away. Sharks 16-6
26th min: 40/20 SHARKS Hilder sets up a great kick but eventually the attack is shut down
29th min: NEWS - Gallen (Sharks) on report for a high shot on Clinton
35th min: NEWS - Dykes (Sharks) limping in back play and has left the field. The Sharks splitting the Panthers defence on a regular basis. They lead 16-6
HALFTIME: Poor decisions by the Panthers leading to frustration on the field. The Sharks defence outstanding, and they deserve their 10 point lead, 16-6
Second half underway...
42nd min: TRY - SHARKS Solid start to the half by both sides is blown apart after a high kick down to Wesser is allowed to bounce, picked up by the Sharks and Mellor is over for the try. Covell from out in front, adds the extras. Sharks 22-6
44th min: Dykes (Sharks) to take no further part in the match, off with a torn calf muscle and will not take any further part in the match
47th min: NO TRY - PANTHERS Finally the Panthers have some go forward through the solid defence from the Sharks. Gower held up short of the line on the 4th tackle
48th min: TRY - PANTHERS Fifth tackle and Priddis ducks from dummy half to finally score. Campbell from almost out in front, converts. Sharks 22-12
51st min: TRY - PANTHERS The confidence has picked up in the home side. The Gower/Wesser combination finally comes into the game as Wesser flies over for the try. Campbell converts from 20 metres out. Sharks 22-18
60th min: NEWS - The momentum has swung the way of Penrith. The game is well and truly up for grabs
63rd min: NEWS - Wesser (Panthers) makes a try saving tackle on a flying Vagana but holds him down too long and is rewarded with 10 mins in the bin
64th min: TRY - SHARKS Patient play by the Sharks following the penalty against Wesser and Covell is over out wide for his 2nd of the afternoon. Covell from out wide fails to convert his try. Sharks 26-18
68th min: NEWS - Hilder (Sharks) to the blood bin with a nasty cut to the head and blood everywhere
69th min: TRY - SHARKS The Sharks making the Panthers pay for being a man down. Peachey puts through a deft little grubber down the short side. 1 of 3 Sharks players could've scored, Mellor takes the spoils. Covell from out wide once more, misses another conversion. Sharks 30-18
73rd min: TRY PANTHERS As Wesser returns to the game to be involved in the attack close to the line, the Panthers hit through with Clinton bursting onto a Gower pass. Campbell misses an important conversion. Sharks 30-22
78th min: NEWS - The Sharks defence is winning them the match, top stuff
FULL TIME: Outstanding game by the Sharks . The Panthers seemingly hot and cold. Well deserved win by the Cronulla side by 30-22
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - P Gallen (Sharks) 2 - D Nutley (Sharks) 1 - M Hilder (Sharks) -----------------------------------------