An almost faultless first half has set up Penrith’s 10th straight NRL win, with Nathan Cleary playing a starring role in the 48-12 victory at Suncorp Stadium.
On a night where very little went the Titans’ way, Penrith dominated the first 40 minutes and did enough in the second to score a comfortable win.
The Panthers led 30-0 at half-time and any chance of a miracle Gold Coast comeback was likely destroyed late in the first half when Herman Ese’ese was sent off for a high tackle on Brian To’o.
Earlier, Penrith prop Moses Leota had been sin-binned for a high shot – but returned to the field to score a sensational try and repay his debt.
Cleary was sensational again for Penrith – scoring three tries as part of 28 point haul and setting up a handful of others in what was one of his best individual performances of the season.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary said it was far from a complete performance.
“I was disappointed with the last 20 minutes,” he said.
“There was a few things to work on out of that game, but obviously I was happy to get the win.”
Titans coach Justin Holbrook said his side was “blown away” in the first half, and heaped praise on Penrith.
“They sit where they sit for a reason,” he said.