A hat-trick from Frank ‘The Tank’ Pritchard was the highlight of the game as the Panthers walloped a deplorable Cronulla outfit who will look to build for 2011.
Many thought that Pritchard would zone out for the Panthers in light of his news that he is headed to the Dogs for 2011, but he proved the critics wrong with a man-of-the-match performance.
The win was a welcome sign for the Panthers, after they hadn’t made the finals for the last 6 years.
The win was even better considering that the Panthers had several big names in Petero Civoniceva, Lachlan Coote, Luke Walsh and Luke Lewis all out due to injury.
The Sharks poor performance was a sad end to a wonderful career for Cronulla skipper Trent Barrett.
At one stage, the two teams were reduced to 10 men when Masada Iosefa and Grant Millington were sent to the bin following an exchange of punches.
Elliott denied that Frank Pritchard owed the club anything after his announcement that he would be headed to the Bulldogs.
“As far as the playing staff and the coaching staff’s concerned, Franky doesn’t owe us anything,” said Elliott, whose Panthers side will host either Manly or Canberra at CUA Stadium next Saturday night.
“He’s a member of our team and he’s in our team, he’s right in the middle of our team , and I think he’s coming into form at just the right time.
“I feel like he can be a big difference for us.”
Pritchard was adamant that his focus right now was solely on the Panthers and that he wasn’t thinking about anything else.
“I’m here with the club, next year’s next year, it’s sweet,” Pritchard offered reluctantly
Retiring Sharks skipper Trent Barrett was disappointed with the outcome, and wished for a better result.
“That wasn’t part of the plan definitely,” he said.
“Last week was terrific but we certainly wanted to win tonight and they were pretty good and we were pretty bad.
“It was a little hard (to get up after last week) but not to the extent that the scoreline showed.”