In a battle between the two Jersey Flegg Grand Finalists from 2018, the Sharks have scored a morale boosting 24-4 victory, giving them a shot of confidence and some belief that back to back 20’s title may not be beyond them.
Currently in first place on the Flegg ladder, against the third-placed Penrith side, the Sharks scored early and were never headed, their defence a feature as they ran away with the match to cement top spot on the table with Finals just around the corner.
In atrocious conditions, with a swirling westerly making free flowing football difficult, it was the Sharks who were first to score, Jack Boyling winning the race to a perfectly weighted grubber kick to touch down.
Joniah Lualua was unsuccessful with the kick and after 20 minutes of the match it was 4-0 Sharks.
Penrith would respond, their try coming in a similar fashion when Shannon Harris was first to the ball and when they couldn't convert in the swirling wind it was 4-all with 10 minutes of the half remaining.
A Franklin Pele try, the big front rower crashing through a number of defenders to plant the ball down, put the Sharks back in front and when Lualua was on target with the kick it was 10-4 with half time approaching.
The Sharks weren't finished in the opening half and would stretch their lead out further when halfback Angus Ernst made a line break from deep in his own end of the field, evaded a cover tackle then passed for Tom Caughlan to score, the back rower making it 14-4 Sharks at the break.
While the temperature dropped significantly as the sun was setting, the Sharks intensity remained high, after repelling a couple of Penrith attacking raids at one end, they were rewarded at the other with some enterprising play out wide.
Centre Cooper Bowen, in his first game in the Jersey Flegg team this season, sliced through on the left hand side, then kicked for his support players, however after a goal line scramble, with the Panthers spilling the bouncing ball, it was Bowen claiming the try.
Lualua couldn't convert, but the try had seen the Sharks push out to an 18-4 advantage.
The two teams struggled to add to their tally for rest of the second period, that was until Lorenzo Mulitalo, playing fullback in place of an injured Lualua, put the icing on the cake with a solo effort in the dying moments.
Ernst kicked the conversion in making the final scoreline 24-4 to the young Cronulla side.
It was a win that will keep the Sharks on top of the Flegg ladder with three rounds of the competition left to be played.
Jack Boyling, Franklin Pele, Tom Caughlan, Cooper Bowen, Lorenzo Mulitalo tries Joniah Lualua, Angus Ernst goals
Shannon Harris try