Jamie Soward has recorded his 100th NRL victory as the Penrith Panthers left WIN Stadium in Wollongong with 16-4 win over the St. George Illawarra Dragons.
Brett Morris gave the 13,107 crowd something to cheer about early as he danced over in the eastern corner off a surging run from fullback, Adam Quinlan. The Dragons led 4-0 after 7 minutes with Gareth Widdop's only conversion missed.
Dan Hunt could have a trip to the NRL Judiciary ahead as he was placed on report in the 14th minute for a high tackle on Penrith's David Simmons. Simmons later left the field with concussion from another incident with Joel Thompson.
The ensuing penalty saw the Panthers through James Segayaro post their first try as he stretched out for the white line. Penrith captured the lead, 6-4 after 16 minutes.
Jamie Soward's 40 metre a field goal attempt on the half time siren dropped short of the posts. The Panthers took their 6-4 lead into the break after 40 minutes.
Adam Docker put the Panthers on the front foot in the second half as his powerful run saw him cross almost untouched as Matt Moylan provided the hole for his second rower. Penrith jumped to 12-4 after 43 minutes.
For the majority of the match, the Dragons goal line defence held together, however, stopping Jamal Idris is another story. The big framed centre sailed into a yawning gap to close out the game for the visitors, 16-4.
Matt Moylan looked to ice the cake with a field goal in the final minutes, but his shot just wide of the uprights.
The Dragons will have to go back to the drawing board with their attacking options letting them down against quality opposition as their chances of capturing a top 8 spot slip away.
Next week the hoodoo could continue for the Dragons as they trek to Canberra to face the Raiders. Meanwhile for the Panthers its back to Penrith as they host the 4th placed North Queensland Cowboys on Monday night.