Crippled Sharks edge Panthers in thriller
MATTY Moylan has finally enjoyed his first win as a Cronulla Shark.
Better, it was in the No.6 jersey.
And against his old club, too.
Despite a slow start to his new life in the Shire, Moylan finally looks to have found both the game and structure required for the role of Sharkies five-eighth - playing his best game of 2018 to help upset Penrith 26-22 at Shark Park.
Billed as a battle between Moylan and Panthers No.7 James Maloney - who enjoyed an 'NRL Player Swap' over summer - it was the former who eventually got his side home.
While Moylan orchestrated one try in the opening 40 minutes, he could've easily had a hand in four.
Twice, however, the Sharks spilled passes while surging up the left side of the field while on a third occasion, Moylan himself was ruled to have knocked while stripping the ball from Penrith winger Christian Chrichton in goal.
Still he did enough.
Most notably, a beautiful ball to put young backrower Scott Sorensen over for a try, 11 minutes from the break.
But Penrith, they never kept coming.
Despite missing seven NRL players with injury - most notably star halfback Nathan Cleary - the Panthers rarely trailed by more than six and, even at the death, had one set to play for a miracle win after a try to via Villiame Kikau.
Cronulla were themselves playing without both injured skipper Paul Gallen and NSW Origin star Wade Graham. They also then lost backrower Luke Lewis with only 12 minutes gone.
Carrying a cork into the game, and with his right thigh heavily strapped, Lewis was forced from the field after an innocuous collision while defending a Panthers backline shift.
More than Moylan's first as a Shark, it was also his best performance after being shuffled between fullback at No.6.
Undoubtedly, his best play was a beautiful ball to young backrower Sorensen, who just happened to be running an even better line.
Changing direction before receiving the Steeden, the nephew of famed Sharks enforcers Dane and Kurt Sorensen split straight between Panthers defenders Isaah Yeo and Corey Harawira-Naera. From there, he then stepped inside another defender before crossing near the posts.