Cronulla have scored their second win of the NRL season in a thrilling come-from-behind 24-20 victory over Penrith.
Jeff Robson crossed for the match-winner in the 77th minute before a crowd of 13,669 at Remondis Stadium on Saturday, backing up a Wade Graham bust for the converted four-pointer.
The Panthers crossed the line a minute later, but the Dean Whare try that would have given them victory was disallowed for obstruction.
Robson’s try came just three minutes after a Peter Wallace four-pointer, on the back of a Whare break, put the Panthers ahead 20-18.
It was an exciting end to a dour first hour, especially early in the second half which was punctuated by dropped ball.
The Sharks forced their way ahead for the first time in the 69th minute when Michael Gordon outjumped Matt Moylan and crossed under the posts, with the Sharks fullback’s conversion putting the home side ahead 18-14.
Penrith led 12-10 at halftime and the score was pushed to 14-12 after both sides slotted penalty goals early in the second stanza before Gordon’s effort sparked both teams into action.
The Sharks played much of the game without Todd Carney, who left the field in the 17th minute and never returned.
Penrith had to play without back rower Elijah Taylor for much of the game after he suffered a knee injury.
Josh Mansour scored first for the Panthers in the ninth minute when Beau Ryan dropped a Peter Wallace cross field kick and the big Penrith winger scooped up the spoils.
Jamie Soward landed the sideline conversion.
In an absorbing but error-strewn contest, Carney struck next for the Sharks when he dragged Wallace over the line in the 17th minute. Carney limped off shortly after.
Quick hands on Penrith’s right side created their second try in the 21st minute when David Simmons scored. Soward again landed the sideline conversion.
In-form centre Ricky Leutele brought the Sharks within two points on the stroke of halftime when James Segeyaro dropped a Robson grubber on his own line.
Robson regathered and passed to Leutele, who scored, while Gordon converted for the 12-10 score at the break.