The Jersey Flegg Sharks will next week face an elimination final against the Bulldogs after being beaten 18-10 by the Panthers in their week one playoff encounter.
The Sharks were their own worst enemies in the opening 40-minutes, with poor ball control gifting the Panthers field position and scoring opportunities, the Penrith side scoring twice inside the first 10 minutes the match in opening a 12-0 lead before the two teams had even worked up a sweat.
The young Cronulla side got one back to make it 12-4, before another converted try to the Panthers push them out to a handy 18-4 half time advantage.
To their credit the Sharks worked their way back into the contest in the second period and while a second Ferris try, this one in the 63rd minute, brought them closer, it would be the Penrith side to prevail.
In looking for a positive the Sharks held a dangerous attacking side in the Panthers, scoreless in the second 35 minutes but after giving away too big a half time lead, will now be forced into an elimination game next week.
Interestingly, with the Newcastle Knights also going down, both the first and second placed teams in the Jersey Flegg competition will play elimination games in week two of the finals.
A date and venue for the next round finals matches has yet to be confirmed.
Jackson Ferris 2 tries, Braydon Trindall goal