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Five Key Points - Sharks v Panthers

1 Moylan silences the crowd - and the critics 

They booed and jeered Matt Moylan with his first involvement in the game and kept it going for the majority of the first half, then those with enough energy continued it into the second, but a number of classy touches meant the former Panther, now Shark, had the last laugh.

Moylan was heavily involved in the Sharks first try, timing his pass perfectly to Wade Graham who tipped on to Valentine Holmes for the first four-pointer of the night.

He then scored one of his own, off a Scott Sorensen inside ball, before making the line break which would lead to Holmes's second try in sealing the result for the Sharks.

Moylan was the standout performer in the Sharks win, silencing the crowd and a few of the critics, especially those who perhaps went off too soon in declaring Penrith were the clear winners in the player swap with James Maloney.

2 Where is his best position?
The popular opinion says that if Holmes isn't the best winger in the game, he is certainly in the conversation.

Holmes has scored in each of his five Origin matches, touching down eight times, with his freakish finishing as a winger helping get Queensland home in the final game of the 2017 series, then again just over a week ago in game three this year.

He would then go on to represent Australia at the World Cup, finishing as the tournament's leading try-scorer. 

Some will argue that Holmes' best position at the Sharks is also on the wing and with Josh Dugan in the squad and a couple of quality centres in Ricky Leutele and Jesse Ramien meaning fullback is the best fit for Dugan, it might be hard to disagree.

However with Dugan experiencing a horror run of injury, Holmes has stepped into the role he occupied last season and just keeps improving in the number one jersey.

He got himself into position and scored against Penrith on Friday night off a well-worked move involving Moylan and Graham, then pushed up in support to seal the deal, showing his blistering speed to outpace the cover defence. For the rest of the game he was safe at the back and a constant threat in attack. 

Holmes is an outstanding winger but from what he has shown in recent weeks, a pretty fair fullback as well.

3 Game two better again
Aaron Woods had just one full training session ahead of his Club debut in New Zealand when the Sharks played the Warriors before the bye week.

The switch from a Bulldog to a Shark all happened very quickly for the international front rower, who found himself boarding a plane with his new club a little more than 48-hours after being introduced to his new teammates.

His performance against the Warriors was a professional one despite not having a good handle on all the plays or the way those around him like to do things.

Against the Panthers it was game number two for Woods and it was another positive step forward, with Sharks fans getting a glimpse of what to expect in the weeks and months ahead, which is a skilful performer and another big body to complement the likes of Andrew Fifita, Matt Prior and Paul Gallen in the middle of the paddock.

Game one for the Sharks was good, Friday night was better again, with Woods a player set to become a valuable addition to his new team as they chase a top four berth.

4 Where will he put them?
Over the coming weeks the Sharks are hoping to welcome back Luke Lewis, Dugan and young centre Ramien after the trio were missing from the line up on Friday night.

Lewis is close to a return from a second calf strain, while Dugan is a week to week proposition with the recovery from stress fractures in his lower leg frustratingly taking longer than expected.

As for Ramien, had it been a finals match he could have played on Friday but having an extra week to rest a troublesome shoulder will be of enormous benefit in the games ahead.

All that being said, the conundrum for coach Shane Flanagan is where to put them all considering the strong form of Kurt Capewell, last week in the centres and previously as a back rower, while Sorensen has done everything asked of him in his five matches in the top grade this year.

They say its a good position to be in, having players competing for spots in the team, that is unless your'e the coach trying to figure out where to put them all.

5 The finals plot thickens

Some unexpected results over the weekend has certainly made the run into the finals interesting with seven matches remaining.

Pushing for a top four berth, the Sharks did their bit in beating the Panthers in a spirited contest on Friday night, moving to 24 competition points in the process.

The win saw them draw level with the Panthers, while Melbourne snuck home with a one-point victory to stay two ahead of the Sharks.

In the final match of the round the Roosters did enough to beat the Titans in moving to 24 to be equal with the Sharks and Panthers but ahead on for-and-against.

Then on Saturday night the Warriors smashed the Broncos, putting the Brisbane boys under some pressure from the likes of Canberra and the Wests Tigers, both who managed to score wins and move to within four points of the top eight.

And the Dragons going down means they still have plenty of work to do to secure a top four berth and a double-shot in the finals after seeming like certainties just a few weeks ago.

The finals plot thickens, with the coming weeks likely to throw up more surprises as the race for September continues.

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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