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Snapshot of Sharks v Panthers NRL semi

A Chad Townsend field goal in the final five minutes has saved Cronulla from a Penrith comeback and booked them a NRL preliminary final showdown with Melbourne.

Snapshot of Sharks v Panthers NRL semi

A Chad Townsend field goal in the final five minutes has saved Cronulla from a Penrith comeback and booked them a NRL preliminary final showdown with Melbourne.

SNAPSHOT OF THE CRONULLA - PENRITH NRL SEMI-FINAL

* Result: Cronulla 21 bt Penrith 20 at Allianz Stadium, Sydney.


* Key moment: A desperate field goal from halfback Chad Townsend five minutes from fulltime saved the Sharks from a devastating defeat after they'd blown an 18-0 lead to allow the Panthers to claw their way back to 20-20 with three unanswered second-half tries.

* Key stat: the Panthers once again confirmed themselves as the league's cardiac kids but there were no nine lives for these cats as they fell agonisingly short of a ninth dramatic comeback win in 2018.

* Injuries: Cronulla: Paul Gallen (shoulder), Luke Lewis (calf)

* What's next? Cronulla travel to AAMI Park to take on minor premiers Melbourne in a mouth-watering preliminary final showdown between the 2016 grand finalists, while Penrith will mull over a season of lost opportunity and turn their attention to finding a coach after rookie caretaker Cameron Ciraldo was unable to deliver on the solid if turbulent foundation laid by the axed Anthony Griffin.

* Key quote: "He thrives on playing Penrith, I know. You can see a little bit of change in the way he moves and trains and talks during the week. A lot of players are like that when they're playing their old club. He's no different." - Sharks coach Shane Flanagan on the performance of game-breaking five-eighth Matt Moylan.

AAP


AAP




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