The Sharks SG Ball team have lost a heart-breaker, going down 17-16 in extra time to the Penrith Panthers to bow out of contention and fall agonisingly short of a Grand Final appearance.
After leveling the scores at 16-apiece three minutes from the end of regulation, the Sharks were left shattered when a field goal in the first period of extra time put the Panthers in front, with Penrith then holding on to set up a Grand Final showdown with the Canterbury Bulldogs.
Giving away plenty of size to the highly-rated Penrith team, while more than matching them with their heart and commitment, the Sharks could be proud of their efforts, not just this weekend but throughout the 2018 season.
The teams went blow for blow in the opening half, the Panthers scoring first, before Sharks hooker Isaac Longmuir fooled the defense with a dummy from close to the posts to cross for his first try.
The Panthers touched down again to go to half time up by 10-6.
Longmuir barged over for a second try just after the break to even up the scores, and then it was centre Vito Tevaga giving the Sharks their first lead of the contest with a try out wide to put his team 14-10 in front.
The Panthers retook the lead with a converted try in the 62nd minute and it took a Kai Broadhurst penalty just three minutes from time to lock the scores up.
Before moving into the extra-time period Broadhurst had a chance to steal the win however his field goal attempt, from almost half way just shaved the upright, therefore sending the match into overtime.
Unfortunately for the Sharks they weren't able to get the job done, Panthers half back Hayden Bonnano kicking the game winner two minutes into the extra time period.
After winning their way into the Grand Final qualifier with an outstanding victory over the minor premiers in the Roosters, it was a cruel way for the Chris O'Connell-coached SG Ball Sharks to end their 2018 campaign.
Isaac Longmuir 2, Vito Tevaga tries, Kai Broadhurst 2 goals