The Panthers continued their perfect start to the 2021 season in showing why they are considered to be the premiership favourites with a 48-0 shut out of the Sharks in their round nine clash.
The Penrith side was clinical, while far too many errors from the Sharks at times made it easy for their opponents, with the 48-point loss the fifth consecutive defeat for the Cronulla side and the ninth straight win for the Panthers.
It was all Penrith in the first 40 minutes and while the Sharks showed some character to compete for periods of the second half, they were no match on the night for the red-hot home team.
The opening points came after an error in the play the ball put the Sharks under pressure and following a repeat set it was a hard-charging James Fisher-Harris crashing over adjacent to the posts.
Nathan Cleary added the extras and it was 6-0 to the Panthers inside the opening 10 minutes of the match.
A second Sharks mistake not long after put the Panthers back on the attack and after another clever Cleary kick forced a second line drop out, this time a well-worked backline play saw Charlie Staines slide over in the corner.
Cleary slotted the sideline conversion and it was 12-0 Penrith after 13 minutes of the match.
Obviously not getting the message from the earlier points scored against them, the Sharks forced another pass and coughed up the football on half way, the Panthers went on the attack and on the final tackle Stephen Crichton pushed through some flimsy defence to touch down wide out.
Another difficult kick was successful from Cleary and at 18-0 after 20 minutes the Sharks appeared to have a long night ahead of them.
Matt Burton would cross next, running onto a slick Jerome Luai off-load and again Cleary kicked the goal, the teams going to break with Penrith up by 24-0.
The stats told the story of the first half, the Sharks making eight handling errors and completing just eight of 15 sets with the ball.
After the Sharks had battled hard through the opening 10 minutes of the second half a dubious try was awarded to Viliame Kikau by the video official, when there was no clear evidence of the big back rower grounding the ball and the score had pushed out to 30-0.
A second to Staines off a similar movement that produced his first, followed by another successful kick at goal and it was 36-0 and when the Sharks had appeared to limit the damage, a third Staines try, then another to Matt Eisenhuth, both inside the final four minutes and both converted by Cleary who was a perfect eight from eight with the boot, completed the scoring.
On a dismal night the Sharks lost Jesse Ramien midway through the first half when he received a nasty head knock, while Matt Moylan was injected into the game during the second half and had some good touches with the ball.
The Sharks now have an eight-day break until facing Souths during magic round next Saturday at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Charlie Staines 3, Matt Burton, Viliame Kikau, James Fisher-Harris, Stephen Crichton, Matt Eisenhuth tries, Nathan Cleary 8 goals