Penrith were below their best but managed to hold off a spirited Gold Coast outfit 22-14 at Cbus Super Stadium on Sunday and reclaim top spot on the NRL ladder.
The under-strength Panthers dominated possession but could only come up with a single try in the second half to Malakai Watene-Zelezniak despite having the Titans out on the feet with repeated forays into the home team’s red zone.
Penrith led 16-14 at the break after the Gold Coast scored twice in the final three minutes of the half to keep themselves well in the contest.
The Panthers jumped out to a 10-0 lead with Josh Mansour and Stephen Crichton carving up the Gold Coast’s right-side defence before Titans fullback Corey Thompson pounced on a poor Jarome Luai kick to race 90 metres and just outlast Brent Naden to dive over in the corner.
Back-rower Isaah Yeo bullied his way over to stretch Penrith’s lead back out to 12 points before Brian Kelly and Anthony Don crossed for tries in the shadow of half-time.