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NRL: Sharks out to beat wounded Panthers

Cronulla Sharks will get another chance to stamp their authority on the NRL when they take on Penrith Panthers on Saturday.

The Sharks are sitting top of the ladder, and after seeing off Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters in the last two weeks, have shown they are the real deal.

Craig Fitzgibbon’s side are 6.00 to go on and win the grand final, and another win over Penrith will have the supporters believing even more.

The Panthers are still the hot fancies at 3.75, but head into the game on the back of their third defeat of the season.

Penrith are four points behind the Sharks, but as they have proven over the last three years, they have a habit of peaking at the end of the season.

. What: Cronulla Sharks v Penrith Panthers
. Where: PointsBet Stadium, Sydney
. When: 17:30 (AEST), Saturday 25th May 2024
. How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
. Odds: Cronulla Sharks 1.62, Penrith Panthers 2.30

Sharks prove doubters wrong

The Sharks are looking like genuine premiership contenders after proving the doubters wrong over the last two weeks.

Despite losing just one game in the opening eight rounds, it was suggested they had not beaten any of the top teams.

However they put that to bed with wins over the Storm and Roosters, and will look to do the same to the Panthers.

The winning margin over the Storm was seven points, while they edged out the Roosters by eight.

The Sharks have won six of the past seven games on home soil, and are priced at 6.50 to beat the Panthers by 6-10 points.

Ronaldo Mulitalo is always a threat, and the winger is priced at 6.50 to score the first try of the game.

However, prop forward Tom Hazelton has scored four tries in the past five games and is 5.50 to score another at anytime.

Panthers look to respond

The Panthers have made a solid start to the season, but will be disappointed after slipping to a two-point defeat against the Warriors in Magic Round.

It was their first defeat since round five, and they will be keen to bounce back straight away.

To do that, they will have to cut out the errors and missed tackles that cost them badly against the Warriors in Brisbane.

They are still missing Nathan Cleary, but have coped without him before, so will not be using that as an excuse for the defeat.

The Panthers do have a good record against the Sharks, winning six of the past seven games against them.

However, they have not done so well at PointsBet Stadium, with their last win at the intimidating venue coming back in 2012.

Sunia Turuva continues to impress and is 8.00 to score the first try of the game or 2.15 to score at anytime.

The Panthers won 28-0 the last time the two sides met, but the Sharks are a different side these days.

With that in mind, Penrith are 3.40 to win by 1-12 points.

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