Matt Moylan starred for the Sharks upon his first return to Panthers Stadium after leaving the club, with Cronulla walking away with a twelve point victory.
The Penrith Panthers were down in troops when they faced Cronulla after deciding to rest their Origin trio. Cronulla played their Origin star Valentine Holmes who was one of the best on field in their defeat over the Panthers.
Penrith scored the first points of the game taking a penalty shot within the first ten minutes. The first try came from Cronulla’s Sione Katoa after traveling edge to edge. Valentine Holmes was the second player to score for the Sharks. The sides went into the half time break with the visitors up by ten.
The Panthers came out into the second half with a lot more energy and intent, and managed to score eight minutes after the break, however it didn’t take long for Cronulla to hit back. The final ten minutes of the match were intense for both sides with the Panthers’ intensity skyrocketing. Penrith were full of energy and looked prepared to steal the win in front of a home crowd. However, with four minutes left, Holmes scored his second for the night and sealed the deal for the Sharks.
Cronulla walked away victorious, winning 24 points to 12.
Panthers Had Plenty of Energy
It would be wrong to say that the Panthers didn’t go down without a fight. The side displayed plenty of energy and intensity throughout the whole match that their opposition struggled to match. They made a lot of ground and looked like scoring a lot of the time. The final ten minutes of the match were the moments where Penrith showed the most intensity, running hard and pushing passes in the hopes of scoring, however fell short in the end. The Penrith Panthers are a youthful and impressive club and that was displayed heavily against the Sharks, however they let their opposition gain momentum in the back-end of the game that led to Cronulla’s victory.
Moylan Stars in Return to Penrith
There was no better time for Moylan to score his first try in Cronulla colours than against Penrith on Friday night. Matt Moylan said goodbye to the Penrith Panthers during the off-season and has found a home for himself at the Sharks. He made his return to Panthers Stadium and was undoubtedly one of, if not the best on field for Cronulla, scoring his first try of the season and gaining a try assist that sealed the deal for his new club. He has improved immensely in the last few months, and his performance on Friday night was one of his most impressive this season.
Penrith Fullback Impresses on Debut
With Origin stars Cleary, Maloney and Peachey being rested for this match, coach Anthony Griffin brought Caleb Aekin in for his debut game who definitely made a lasting impression. The 20-year-old jumped into the fullback role and had an impressive performance for his debut match. He worked well with the rest of the team on-field and fits perfectly into the club’s youthful roster. He ran the most metres of anyone on field on Friday night, accumulating 303 total metres in the 80 minutes. The young gun is to be commended on his effort at the back against the Sharks on Friday night.
Impressive Origin Backup from Holmes
Valentine Holmes was one of the best on field for Cronulla on Friday night, and deserves the recognition he gets for his performance considering he played in the final 2018 Origin game just 48 hours prior to lining up in Penrith. The 22-year-old scored a double for Queensland on Wednesday and did the same for his club on Friday night, which is an incredible effort from the young talent. Holmes sealed the deal for the Sharks on Friday night, running at a blinding speed to catch up to Moylan who swiftly and smoothly passed the ball that gave Holmes the opening to score the final try of the match against the Panthers.
Penrith Panthers 12
Tries: Waqa Blake, Corey Harawira-Naera
Goals: Jarome Luai 2
Cronulla Sharks 24
Tries: Sione Katoa, Valentine Holmes, Matt Moylan
Goals: Chad Townsend 4