Thu May 14, 2009 Statement from Sharks Chairman Barry Pierce Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks The following was a press statement delivered by Sharks Chairman Barry Pierce in relation to the incident reported on the Four Corners program on Monday night. 16:49
Panthers extend Walsh's contract Penrith Panthers Panthers CEO Michael Leary has announced the extension of Luke Walsh's contract for a further two years. 16:19
Penrith started the game against the Sharks with few changes to their line up. Nathan Smith moved into the starting line up in favour of Frank Pritchard while Maurice Blair and Adam Woolnough dropped off the team line. Head Coach Matthew Elliott explained the virtues of carrying the pair when he named the team earlier in the week.
The game was barely 5 minutes old when the Panthers found themselves in trouble by the Sharks. Running down the western sideline Cronulla had strung together a strong set only to blow the opportunity with a poor end decision. Kicking rather than passing to Luke Covell in support cost the Sharks of a certain four points.
Riding high on a wave of possession the Sharks were looking to put past performances behind them as they kept troubling Penrith. A series of penalties and breaks through weak tackles ensured the Panthers would be kept on their toes.
After failing again in another near certainty for a try, the Panthers hit back through Geoff Daniela when he crossed to score his third try in 2 games. Strangely, Daniela was passed the ball from an attacking Paul Gallen. Daniela had two attempts at catching the ball before racing away to dive under the posts for the try.
Just two minutes had passed when Paul Aiton scored the second try of the night. Luke Walsh started the play on his own 40 metre line before linking with Sammut and then Aiton. Walsh who had just extended his contract through the week broke through the defence with a wave of support ready to back him up.
Cronulla hit back in the 35th minute when Blake Ferguson scored wide of the posts. The ensuing kick didn't concern Luke Covell as he added the extras to take the Sharks within 6 points.
Moments before the halftime siren had sounded the Panthers made a last ditch play to put themselves further ahead and it looked likely to come off until the ball crossed the sideline in front of Daniela.
Picking up from where they left off the Panthers bolted straight out of the gates to put the score a little further in front of Cronulla. The smiling assassin, Frank Pritchard ran 50+ metres after being fed the ball from a crab like run off Trent Waterhouse. Standing up a number of defenders including fullback Bronx Goodwin, Pritchard placed the ball under the posts for Jarrod Sammut to continue his perfect record of kicking in this game.
Lachlan Coote was unlucky not to score when he was brought down metres short of the try line. Penrith again had run rampant over the Sharks but with defenders lying all over Coote, they were never going to get the additional roll on they needed to score. Seeing it the same way, Blake Green was sin binned by the referee for a professional foul. Rather than take on the line, Penrith opted to protect their lead by kicking a penalty goal - a decision that would prove pivotal.
The Sharks looked to have put themselves back into the game when Panthers captain Petero Civoniceva was sin binned in similar fashion to Green. That sparked a double for Anthony Tupou which took the visitors just two points off the Panthers and looking more and more dangerous.
Luke Lewis came to the aid of the team in the 77th minute when he jumped clear to take the ball and dive over to make it impossible to lose with 3 minutes left on the clock. Having picked up an injury prior to the enormous leap, Luke appeared to be clutching at his shoulder which wasn't treated with too much care as he placed the ball in the in-goal area.
Cronulla's last roll of the dice was a short kick off but with time against them it was a futile chance to even draw level with the Panthers. It did have a small payoff however and they progressed to be short of the line by no less than 5 metres when Frank Pricthard was placed on report for an attempted trip. The result of the penalty saw Cronulla score on the siren, yet slump to another loss.
Earlier, Penrith's Toyota Cup team managed to hold on to a good start to win 22-20. Panthers opened the scoring but clocked off early allowing the Sharks to re-enter the contest.
One change for Sharks as they face up to Panthers Tue May 12, 2009 The Sharks have made just one change to the 17 that lost to the Roosters 19-12 two weeks ago, but coach Ricky Stuart has made two positional changes for the clash against Penrith on Saturday night.
Terence Seu Seu comes onto the bench to replace Blake Green, who goes back to the Sharks NSW Cup side.
Bronx Goodwin and Mitch Brown swap positions from last week and Reni Maitua is relegated back to the bench with Reece Williams earning a recall to the starting side.
The Sharks only victory this season came against the Panthers in the opening round of the premiership and after that victory have endured seven straight losses.
Trent Barrett has been named in the Sharks side after a back injury ruled him out of Country contention. Barrett was the preferred choice as halfback for Country by their coach and NSW selector Laurie Daley.
1 Bronx Goodwin 2 David Simmons 3 Ben Pomeroy 4 Mitch Brown 5 Luke Covell 6 Trent Barrett 7 Brett Seymour 8 Kade Snowden 9 Corey Hughes 10 Luke Douglas 11 Reece Williams 12 Anthony Tupou 13 Paul Gallen [c]
Subs: 14 Reni Maitua 15 Jacob Selmes 16 Johnny Mannah 17 Terence Seu Seu
The DISCORD column will unfortunately no longer be published on rleague. You can read the 20 popular editions by clicking the link below. Discord was the column of self-confessed Rugby League tragic and respected journalist Steve Mascord.
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