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A brace of tries to young recruit Manaia Cherrington was not enough as the Panthers edged the Sharks 16 points to 14 in the sides’ Waiheke pool clash.

Shooting out to an 8-nil lead early, three tries to the Panthers had the men from Penrith in front, before Cherrington nabbed a second to set up a late show.

Retrieving possession from the ensuing kick-off, the Sharks went close to snatching a win from the jaws of defeat after the siren – though scramble defence from the Panthers saw them record a second victory from as many starts on Day 1 of the Nines weekend.