When you thought of the Cronulla Sharks at the start of the season, you would have expected them to once again be cellar dwellars, but their form suggest they will be anything but.

Having lost in Rd 1, the Sharks have now won 2 games in a row, following the shellacking they handed out to the Penrith Panthers at Centrebet Stadium tonight, winning 44-12.

After their shock win over 2010 premiers St George, many were wondering if the Sharks could continue their solid form, and they did just that, romping home to an easy victory.

The nature in which they won the game pleased Sharks coach Shane Flanagan, and had him smiling upon the conclusion of the match.

In a win that was inspired by half Albert Kelly, Flanagan thinks that his side has reasons to be cocky, following comments made by some during the pre-season.

“I think a few people were asking how we could beat teams when we only score 12 to 18 points,” Flanagan said.

“We’ve got some good players in our team, not just good defenders. I was really happy that we showed what we can do tonight.

“I was really pleased with the attention to detail and the effort that they put in after a tough game on Monday night.”

For Flanagan, the plan was to unleash hell on centre pairing Michael Jennings and Timana Tahu, and it worked wonderfully well, with both centres having games that they would rather forget.

“They had a new side with Tahu being out there, they didn’t have much cohesion, a lot of balls were going behind players,” he said.

“We worked really hard on Jennings this week, we know that he’s their go-to man, and he made a few breaks but I thought we held him pretty well.”

In what will only make matters worse for the Panthers, they have captain Petero Civoniceva facing an anxious wait on the side-line, after he was put on report for a high tackle.

That is then compounded with the fact that both halfback Luke Walsh and utility Luke Lewis are possibly facing lengthy periods of time out, with Walsh’s injury being the worse, after a suspected AC injury in his shoulder.

Dally M Points

3 Albert Kelly

2 Paul Gallen

1 Wade Graham

NRL: CRONULLA SHARKS 44 (PGallen, A Kelly x2 N Gardner, CBest, J Mannah, J Smith tries; J Williams x8 goals) defeated PENRITH PANTHERS 12 (D Simmons, L Coote tries; M Gordon x2 goals) at Centrebet Stadium. Referee: Jared Maxwell & Phil Haines

By ricky

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