DALLIN WATENE-ZELEZNIAK (18M), KEVIN NAIQAMA (33M), DEAN WHARE (52M)
Goals: JAMIE SOWARD 2/3
JACOB GAGAN (10M), MICHAEL GORDON (24M), JACOB GAGAN (29M), SAM TAGATAESE (60M)
Goals: MICHAEL GORDON 1/4
Young Cronulla winger Jacob Gagan was instrumental in his sides gritty 18-16 win over the 2nd placed Panthers in Bathurst.
Gagan bagged a double and pulled off an incredible try saving tackle in the dying stages of the match to deny Penrith victory and claim a 2 point upset win.
Gagan scored the Sharks first of the afternoon. Gagan made no mistake in claiming Cronullas much deserved opening points after they had piled pressure on the Panthers defensive line in the opening 7 minutes of the match.
Through some slick passing the Panthers opened their try scoring account. An unsuccessful conversion from Jamie Soward saw the Sharks hold onto a narrow 2 point lead.
Cronulla captain Wade Graham set up Cronulla’s second of the afternoon , through a well thought out tap back , leading to Michael Gordon scoring against his former club.
Jacob Gagan crossed for his double just moments later through some crisp passing close to the line. However Cronulla’s large 10 point lead was quickly cut to just 4 , as the Panthers pounced on the opportunity for points following a Michael Gordon drop at the back.
The second half saw a reverse of the start of the match , with the Panthers seizing the opportunity to plant themselves in Cronulla territory. Penrith continued to build pressure and it took just 11 minutes into the second half for the Panthers to crack Cronulla’s line.
Just when the Panthers looked to be well in control of the match, Cronulla’s Andrew Fifita burst through the Penrith line and with a well-executed draw and pass, set up teammate Sam Tagataese to score. A poor attempt at converting the impressive four pointer by goal kicker Michael Gordon saw the Sharks take the lead but only by 2.
A try saving tackle made by young Shark Jacob Gagan on a flying Kevin Naiqama sealed the unthinkable win for the Sharks and now puts them one step closer to avoiding the wooden spoon.
Standout performances from Jeff Robson , Andrew Fifita and of course Jacob Gagan helped the Sharks to their second win against the Panthers in 2014 and should give the struggling side confidence heading into the last rounds of the season.