Mathews Cup score dominant round 2 victory over the Panthers
An impressive defensive display has helped the Matthews Cup Sharks to a dominant 20-6 victory over the Panthers in their round two clash at BlueBet Stadium.
In backing up a round one success against Illawarra, the under-17 Sharks scored early and never surrendered their lead in scoring four tries to one in the victory.
“We knew it was going to be a strong challenge coming out to Penrith. Strong team, always a lot of quality players out here. It was always going to be a tough test, we needed to come up with a watertight game plan to combat that and I was so proud of the way the boys did that,’ coach Dave Kelly said.
“They were able to do what I asked them to do and they came away with a great victory.”
The Sharks jumped into their opponents with plenty of intent from the opening exchanges, which pleased Kelly and paved the way for the win.
“I thought our aggression in ‘d’ was evident straight away, the first set, set the tone and the boys in the middle did a great job in handling their big boys,” Kelly added - The Sharks began well with Jayze Tuigamala leaping over his opposite number to claim an Ashton Simmonds cross field kick to touch down out wide and despite the conversion attempt sailing wide, the Cronulla side had their tails up at 4-0 in front.
Tuigamala was in the action again shortly after, taking the ball from hooker Lochie McMartin-Catlett who scooted down the short side, before drawing the defense and passing to Nick Pantelis for the Sharks winger to score.
Again the kick at goal from a wide angle was unsuccessful, but the Sharks had a handy 8-0 lead. Neither side was able to trouble the scoreboard attendant in the final 10 minutes of the half, with the score remaining the same at the break.
Determined not to let the good work of the first half go to waste, the Sharks maintained the intensity in the second, held off a couple of attacking Penrith raids in the first 10 minutes and were rewarded at the other end when McMartin-Catlett backed up a break from Tuigamala to crash over.
This time fullback Chevy Stewart was on target with the kick and the Sharks held a commanding 14-0 advantage.
The Penrith team would cross with five minutes left on the clock, but it was too late for the home side, a cleverly worked move seeing Stewart score the final try of the match to seal the result for the Sharks.
Tuigamala was powerful out wide, with the work of Max McCarthy, Lachlan Araullo, Jai Davies and Alex Challenor in the middle of the field, crucial to the Sharks success.
At the back Stewart was again busy and amongst the Sharks best, with halves Simmonds and Bryce Sait controlling the game well.
The Matthews Sharks now have a bye in round three before playing the Central Coast Roosters in round four.
SHARKS 20 Chevy Stewart, Jayze Tuigamala, Nick Pantelis, Lochie McMartin-Catlett tries, Stewart 2 goals beat PANTHERS 6
Round 2 - Team List
Alex Challenor Interchange