Penrith’s incredible mid-season resurgence has continued with Ivan Cleary’s side collecting its sixth straight win, easily accounting for Gold Coast at Panthers Stadium.
The 24-2 victory could propel Penrith into the top eight for the first time this season, depending on other results over the weekend.
The Panthers were easily the better side but blew several chances before Dylan Edwards finally crossed in the 28th minute to give Penrith an 8-2 lead.
Penrith went up 12-2 when Brian To’o displayed some spectacular acrobatics to score in the corner, and took a 12-point lead into the break thanks to a James Maloney penalty goal.
While it took a while for Penrith to put the Titans away, they eventually pulled clear via Edwards and To’o, who both celebrated doubles. The Titans were woeful and error-riddled, pouring more pressure on under-fire coach Garth Brennan.
Penrith coach Ivan Cleary said the club’s horror start to the season was now a distant memory.
“When you go through those times you actually do learn stuff and you end up better for it,” he said.
“It didn’t feel like it at the time but we definitely learned a fair bit out of that. It was pretty horrible to go through but it seems like a long time gone now. We’re a completely different side.”
While impressed with the six straight wins, Cleary said he felt the “best was still to come” for his side.
He confirmed that halfback Nathan Cleary would return next weekend against St George-Illawarra.
Titans coach Garth Brennan said he was disappointed with the performance from his side.
“We made it hard for ourselves. At the moment we are beating ourselves and the opposition are getting an easy two points from us,” he said.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.