Battling Penrith have produced a strong second-half display to snap the Cronulla Sharks NRL winning streak at three with the Panthers winning 26-18 at Pepper Stadium on Sunday.
The Panthers’ Tyrone Peachey, nephew of Sharks legend David Peachey, dotted down in the 72nd minute to settle a see-sawing encounter.
Injury-hit Penrith scored four tries to three and outscored the Sharks 14-0 in the second half to notch just their second win in their past six starts.
They moved to a 4-4 record, while the Sharks dropped to 3-5.
Both teams had a couple of turns in front in the first half, David Simmons crossing first for Penrith.
Cronulla surged ahead with tries to tries to winger Sosaia Feki and centre Ricky Leutele.
The Panthers took another turn in the lead when winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak crossed following a great one-handed pass by fullback Matt Moylan, who was outstanding.
The visitors hit back with fullback Valentine Holmes exhibiting the elasticity of a contortionist to dot down for a try.
Penrith looked unlucky to be denied a try moments before the break, when Peachey streaked clear after Michael Ennis lost the ball, but the referees ruled the Sharks hooker had the ball illegally kicked out of his hands.
Video replays suggested otherwise and Gordon’s penalty rubbed salt into the Panthers wound by putting them eight points ahead at the break.
Ennis and Sharks back-rower Chris Heighington were placed on report for a dangerous tackle on Panthers forward Jeremy Latimore, who landed head first.
Penrith made a storming start to the second half, with Moylan crossing four minutes after the break after some fine work from captain Lewis Brown, Watene-Zelezniak and Simmons.
Sharks star and former Penrith favourite Luke Lewis left the field with a knee issue in the 32nd minute but returned to the field in the second half.