Sharks seal miracle comeback win over Panthers
April 19, 2019 6:11 am
Fiji-born Waqa Blake’s try for the Penrith Panthers was not enough as they were trailed 20-24 against the Cronulla Sharks in their NRL match last night
The 24-year-old centre scored Penrith’s first try in the 59th minute of play.
The Panthers looked in control until Bronson Xerri lit up PointsBet Stadium with a 65-metre run for the home side’s first points in the 49th minute.
Briton Nikora, who overcame what looked like a serious hip injury in the first half, broke through the middle before chipping ahead for Townsend.
The Sharks halfback was brought down by Malakai Watene-Zelezniak at the tryline, allowing the hosts to cut the deficit to eight points with 16 minutes to go.
That lead was reduced again when Andrew Fifita stormed over from close range before Josh Dugan scored the match winner.
The defeat is the Panthers’ fourth in their opening six games and leaves returning coach Ivan Cleary under mounting pressure early in the season.
In contrast, the win for the Sharks arrests their own slow start to the year and comes despite missing five first-choice players from their line-up.