After a couple of heartbreaking last-minute losses over the first six rounds coach James Shepherd would have breathed a sigh of relief when his NYC Sharks managed a determined 26-22 win over Souths last Monday night.
Coming from behind despite running into the rain and wind on an abysmal evening at Remondis Stadium, the Sharks fell behind late but were rescued by an 80-metre individual effort from winger Semisi Vea as they recorded their second win of the 2015 season.
After giving up leads late before going down in matches against the Raiders and Knights, the narrow win over Souths was certainly welcomed.
This weekend however the task for the young Sharks again steps up a notch when they tackle a Penrith team sitting in third position on the NYC ladder after five wins from their opening seven matches.
The Panthers scored a 36-24 win over a plucky Gold Coast outfit at their last start in climbing to third, with their physical forward pack paving the way.
For the Sharks last weekend, while the Vea try was the eventual difference between the two teams, the victory over the Rabbits was built on a simple game plan and a solid all-round team effort, with Shepherd needing similar from his team on Sunday should they hope to be successful.
As would be expected following a victory at their previous outing the Sharks have retained virtually the same team that beat Souths, however Shepherd has left his options open by naming a five-man bench.
The Sharks v Panthers NYC match is scheduled for an 11.45am kick off at Pepper Stadium on Sunday.
NOTE: For those unable to make the trip to Penrith on Sunday, the NYC match this Sunday will be telecast on Fox Sports, with the Locker Room in Sharkies Leagues Club showing the match live.