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The Penrith Panthers fought back from an 8-6 half-time deficit to defeat the Cronulla Sharks 16-14 in game 9 of the Downer NRL Auckland Nines.


A clever grubber and regather from Manaia Cherrington got Cronulla on the board after three minutes, and a short time later Jayden Walker crossed out wide to extend the lead.

But Penrith fought back to hold a 16-8 advantage by midway through the second half thanks to converted tries to Moses Leota and Jed Cartwright, and a third to local boy Corey Harawira-Naera which went unconverted.

With a minute to go Cherrington grabbed his second try of the match, but it wasn't enough to save the Sharks from their second defeat on day one.

Panthers 16 (Moses Leota, Jed Carwright, Corey Harawira-Naera tries; 2 goals) def. Sharks 14 (Manaia Cherrington 2, Jayden Walker tries; 1 goal). Half-time: 6-8.