The 2019 season has come to an end for the Matthews Cup Sharks, beaten 40-16 by the Penrith Panthers in week one of the finals.
In a match played at HE Laybutt Fields in Blacktown on Saturday, the Sharks led briefly, a second minute try to second rower Sam Jinks putting them in front, before the Panthers took charge.
Penrith would lead 18-6 advantage at the break, extending that lead to 24-6, before going on with the job in withstanding a second-half Sharks comeback.
At the fulltime whistle it was a seven tries to three win by Penrith who now move onto week two of the competition finals, with the Sharks eliminated.
Against an opponent the Sharks had beaten 20-10 earlier in the season, it was a match they went into with plenty of positivity, with that hope amplified when Jinks crossed early.
They were then on the back foot, the Panthers taking the 12-point lead to half time, that margin extending to 18 points with a converted try in the opening moments of the second period.
The Sharks bit back, Kynan Hodges scoring, but another Panthers try shortly after all-but sealed the result.
Young outside back Siteni Taukamo would cross for the Sharks to bridge the gap with 10 minutes remaining but it was too little too late with the Panthers confirming the win with two more late tries.
The Matthews Cup Sharks finished the home and away season in seventh place following five wins and three losses prior to their finals clash with the Panthers.
Kynan Hodges, Siteni Taukamo, Sam Jinks tries, Liam Sutton, Kristian Dixon goals