Cronulla Sharks vs Penrith Panthers: NRL live scores, blog
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Cronulla Vs. Penrith
2012 NRL Premiership Season, 29 July, 2012
|Toyota Stadium, NSW|
|Penrith 21 defeated Cronulla 20 (XT)|
|Referee: G Badger|
|Touch judges: J Walsh & B Wood|
An increasingly bitter rivalry between the Cronulla Sharks and the Penrith Panthers will enter another chapter at Toyota Stadium this evening. Join us for live scores and commentary from 7.30pm AEST.
The Sharks and the Panthers joined the competition in the same year, 1967, but aside from that, the two sides have never had much reason for bitterness.
But that’s all changing, as Panthers fans notice the Sharks developing a growing taste for Penrith juniors and, most recently, snapping up Panthers stalwarts Luke Lewis and Michael Gordon for the 2013 season.
And so, while the finals may be out of reach for the Panthers, they still have plenty of pride to play for – particularly in this contest.
The Sharks, on the other hand, are still very much in contention for the finals, and after a poor couple of weeks they’ll be desperate for a win to hold on to their top-four hopes.
They’ll be boosted by the return of forward pack enforcers Paul Gallen and Jeremy Smith, whose absences have been notable in the past weeks.
The Panthers showed good signs against an average Roosters outfit last week, especially with Lachlan Coote’s shift to five-eighth, but there’s no doubt that positional change caught the Roosters unaware, and it will be interesting to see how Coote fares against a Cronulla side with a week to prepare.
There is some talk that Penrith halfback Luke Walsh is in doubt, and he’ll be given up until kick-off to prove his fitness.
Meanwhile, there are also whispers that Gordon, Cronulla-bound in 2013, may be a late inclusion for the Panthers.
It’s hard to go past the Sharks in this one – the returns of Gallen and Smith are significant and bring their impressive forward pack back to full strength, and their coach will want to see a dominant performance to prove they’re not a team on the slide.
Can the Sharkies claim the victory and get their top-four aspirations back on track, or will the Panthers pull off an upset against the team that has been raiding their roster? Join us for live scores and commentary on our live blog from 7.30pm AEST, and be sure to give us your opinion in the space below if you’re watching.