Panthers prove too good in NYC
The defending premiers and current NYC competition leaders the Panthers proved too good but not but not after being given a fright by a courageous Sharks outfit.
The Sharks led 14-10 with under 15 minutes of the match remaining, however the effort eventually took its toll, three late Panther tries blowing the score line out to 24-14 at the full time whistle.
Despite going down the young Sharks would have lost no admirers after being forced to defend their line for extended periods of the second half.
The Panthers pounced first and went out to a 6-0 lead after centre Braidon Burns sliced through some ordinary Sharks defense in just the sixth minute of the match.
The Sharks however would respond shortly after, in-form lock Jayden Mcdonogh crashing over under the posts and when Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga converted the scores were locked up at 6-apiece.
Not long after the Sharks would take their first lead of the afternoon when Sione Katoa touched down in the north-western corner after a well-worked backline movement.
Aufaga-Toomaga was off target with his kick at goal and the Sharks were in front 10-6 and competing well against the highly fancied Penrith side.
The Panthers would level the score with another try down the Sharks left hand side but the home team would take a four-point lead to the break at 14-6 ahead when Billy Magoulias dived over from close range.
The second half turned into an arm wrestle, with the two teams unable to add to their first half tally until the match had just 13 minutes remaining and it would be the visiting Panthers to go on top, capitalising on a glut of possession down the Sharks end of the field.
Panthers half back Nathan Cleary converted the Dylan Edwards try from a wide angle and Penrith had the lead at 16-14 entering the final 10 minutes.
As hard as they tried the extra defensive workload took its toll on the young Sharks, two more tries in the final five minutes of the contest blowing the sore out to 24-14.
In a beaten effort the Sharks had a number of wholehearted performers, with Will Kennedy busy at fullback, Jayden Brailey working overtime in defense and Jaimin Jolliffe and Mcdonogh effective in the middle of the field against the big Panther pack.
The NYC Sharks have a week now to lick their wounds and get ready for another home game next weekend against the Brisbane Broncos.
NYC SHARKS 14
Sione Katoa, Jayden Mcdonogh, Billy Magoulias tries, Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga goal
Ratu Tuisese 2, Dylan Edwards 2, Braidon Burns, tries, Nathan Cleary 2 goals