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The NSW Cup Sharks will be ruing some missed opportunities late in the contest after going down by 22-14 to the competition-leading Penrith Panthers.

Behind by just two with more than 10 minutes left on the clock the Sharks squandered a couple of chances to edge ahead, before an 80th minute Penrith try sealed the result in their favour.

In the early exchanges it was all Panthers, two tries and a conversion giving them a 10-0 lead after the first 20 minutes of the match.

The Sharks worked their way back into the contest and their efforts were rewarded when Kurt Mann ran onto a well-timed short pass to cross wide out.

Daniel Holdsworth’s conversion bounced off the upright and was waved away however the margin had been reduced with the Panthers ahead 10-4 after 32nd minutes.

Neither side was able to add to their tally in the first half but it would only take the Penrith side five minutes to bolster their lead, a mix up in goal seeing five eighth Will Smith claim a try.

The kick at goal was wide but the Panthers had a handy 14-4 advantage.

From there the Sharks kicked into gear, centre Josh Portlock scoring, before Nathan Gardner backed up a Justin O’Neil line break to cross untouched.

Holdsworth kicked the second of the two conversion attempts and the scores were locked at 14-all with over 20 minutes of the match remaining.

A Panthers penalty goal gave them a narrow lead, before a 79th minute try and sidleine conversion sealed a 22-14 win. 


Nathan Gardner, Kurt Mann, Josh Portlock tries, Daniel Holdsworth goal

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