Penrith have secured their best ever start to a season after grinding out a 22-14 win over Gold Coast at Cbus Super Stadium.
The Panthers sit on top of the competition after 11 rounds, losing just one match in what has emerged as a season of premiership potential at the foot of the mountains.
The Titans gave Ivan Cleary’s men an almighty scare this afternoon but in the end the Panthers had too much possession and suffocated their opposition out of the game.
Penrith opened up a 10-0 lead in the first 15 minutes through tries to Josh Mansour and Stephen Crichton, but a try against the run of play to Jamal Fogarty put the Titans back in the game.
Isaah Yeo reached out to score to give Penrith more breathing space, but the Titans weren’t done – Brian Kelly and Anthony Don bagging quick tries just before half-time to narrow the margin; the Panthers leading 16-14 at the break.
With rain falling, the second half became a war of attrition and eventually the Panthers got on top, Malakai Watene-Zelezniak on the end of a slick movement in the 60th minute to extend Penrith’s lead to 22-14.
The Titans had their chances in the final 20 minutes but the Panthers’ defence aimed up and limited any real try-scoring potential.
In the end it was a forgettable win from Penrith, but given the number of troops he had out of his side, Ivan Cleary would be more than happy with the result.
The Panthers travel to Lottoland to take on Manly next weekend.
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.