NRL 2024, Cronulla Sharks, Penrith Panthers, Round 12 match report, match highlights, injuries, big plays, coaches press conferences

A masterclass from Jarome Luai led the Panthers to a 42-0 shutout of table-toppers Cronulla at PointsBet Stadium on Saturday night.

With his place in Michael Maguire’s Blues team now secured, Luai produced his most dominant display of the season as the Panthers claimed their first win at PointsBet Stadium since 2012.

A dropped ball from Sharks winger Sione Katoa in the fourth minute gave the Panthers early field position and James Fisher-Harris stepped up from close range to give the Premiers the perfect start.

When Jesse Ramien put the ball away in Cronulla’s next set, it was Luai showing speed and footwork from 10 meters to make it 12-0 with Dylan Edwards’ conversion.

With the Panthers increasing their defensive intensity, Luai’s pressure forced Nicho Hynes into a full kick, but a mistake by Liam Martin left the Sharks free.

Jarome Luai tries

Another full kick from Hynes put the home team under more pressure before Katoa wasted his second kick of the night and Paul Alamoti scored from the srcumbase to make the score 18-0 after 27 minutes.

The Sharks’ sixth error of the first half opened the door again for the ruthless Panthers to cross Edwards with a classy pass from Jack Cole.

With Hynes sidelined for a head injury evaluation, the Sharks lacked direction in attack and made simpler errors to ruin their chances of closing the gap before the break.

Hynes will not return

Having attempted a try for his fullback, Cole then helped himself to a four-pointer to stretch the Panthers’ lead to 28-0 at halftime.

Hynes passed his HIA but did not return in the second half due to his ongoing calf problems and the Panthers went up a level to score in the 47th minute through Liam Henry, courtesy of a clever kick from Mitch Kenny.

With 20 minutes left, Luai was on target to give the Panthers their fifth kill of the night, but a hard hit by Royce Hunt on Fisher-Harris forced an error and the score remained at 34-0.

With 14 minutes left, Cole launched another accurate kick that the Sharks allowed to rebound and Scott Sorensen stepped up to grab the ball and score. Edwards converted his sixth conversion of the night to make the score 40-0.

An offside penalty against Thomas Hazelton in the 70th minute gave Edwards an easy penalty kick to take his personal tally to 18 points and the score reached 42-0.

A rare error by Edwards and foul by Moses Leota with a minute left gave the Sharks a chance for a consolation attempt, but the Panthers refused to budge.

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Snapshot of the match

  • The Panthers completed their first 12 sets before committing an error. They completed 23 of 25 sets in the first half at 92 percent.
  • Sharks running back Nicho Hynes left the field for a HIA in the 32nd minute after taking an accidental knee to the head. He passed his HIA but did not return to the field due to his ongoing calf problems.
  • Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards made a powerful case for Blues Origin selection with 251 meters from 25 runs and nine tackles.
  • The Sharks were held scoreless in the first half for the first time this season.
  • Jarome Luai marked his class in the competition with 117 linear metres, one try assist, two line breaks and eight tackle breaks.
  • Panthers prop Moses Leota was reported and sent off in the 80th minute for dangerous contact.

The James Fisher-Harris attempt

  • Panthers prop James Fisher-Harris took his career tally to 14 tries in 189 games.
  • The Panthers have won seven of their last eight games against the Sharks.
  • Panthers forward Matt Eisenhuth left the field in the 50th minute for a HIA.
  • Sharks defender Teig Wilton left the field for a HIA in the 57th minute.
  • Isaah Yeo racked up 195 rushing meters and 29 tackles for the Panthers.
  • The Panthers racked up 1,938 running meters overnight compared to 1,018 for the Sharks.
  • Panthers center Izack Tago was called in the 78th minute for a high tackle on Daniel Atkinson.

Dylan Edwards tries

Play of the game

At the stroke of halftime with his team up 22-0, rookie Jack Cole, the Panthers’ fifth-eighth, had a moment to savor when he scored the first try of his career in his fifth game. Cole took the ball to the line on the right edge and launched a kick that bounced off Sharks center Kayal Iro. The number 6 stayed alive in the play and collected the rebound to cross for a try that made it 28-0 Penrith at the break.

Jack Cole tries

What they say

“We didn’t apply pressure, we were at the end of the pressure and the basics of the game, they (Penrith) controlled all that, controlled the energy throughout the game. They were fantastic, they played as well and as accurately as possible. “Control a game with the position on the field and the way they held the ball and kicked. – Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon

Sharks: Round 12

“We needed an answer from last week (a loss to the Warriors), and the guys showed up on Tuesday very open and honest with what we didn’t do last week and got on with the job of turning it around. That’s exactly what they did. for 80 minutes tonight.” – Panthers coach Ivan Cleary

Panthers: Round 12

Whats Next

The Sharks have a quick turnaround before facing the Eels on Thursday in the opening match of Round 13 at CommBank Stadium.

The Panthers will be at home on Saturday when they host the Dragons at BlueBet Stadium.