The Sharks survived a frantic few minutes to register their fifth win on the trot, and at the same time hand the Panthers their fifth loss by less than eight.
A length of the field try to Valentine Holmes has helped the Sharks edge Penrith in another epic encounter on Sunday afternoon.
Three late tries to the Panthers helped the defending premiers scrape their way to a seventh straight Holden Cup win with a tense victory over the Sharks.
Cronulla and Penrith have both made one change to the teams announced on Tuesday for their clash at Southern Cross Group Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Veteran Sharks hooker Michael Ennis said he's had to hit the reset button this year in effort to establish combinations with the club's new-look spine.
The Sharks have been one of the NRL's most impressive sides in 2016 but come up against a Panthers side that is making a habit of fighting out tight contests.
Sharks skipper Paul Gallen believes his side have to improve if they're to match the Broncos and Cowboys despite sitting in third position on the NRL ladder.
The biggest news out of Round 7 was the season-ending injury to Warriors superstar fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, while the Broncos and Cowboys impressed again.
Defence wins out and Barba shines. The key talking points to come from Cronulla's big victory over the Raiders in the nation's capital on Sunday afternoon.
Cronulla have secured a forth consecutive win to consolidate their position in the top four, finishing with a healthy victory over the Raiders at GIO Stadium.