The Newcastle Knights have fallen for the first time in 2022, beaten 38-20 by a Penrith outfit which was never going to lose from the moment Mitch Barnett was sent off in the 33rd minute.
The Panthers were the first on the board in the 9th minute, with Luai turning what was an ordinary attacking set into a great one with a chinking run and kick into the in goal on the 5th, which was grounded by Taylan May.
The Knights struck back in the 20th minute however, with Dane Gagai making an immediate impact off a scrum win to get on the outside of Tago and set up Dominic Young for the Knights first.
The two sides were well and truly into an arm wrestle at that stage, however that all flipped when Barnett was sent from the field in the 33rd minute for a late, raised forearm to the head of Chris Smith. The Panthers opted to take the 2 and tie it up at 6-apiece.
The Panthers would use the one-man advantage for the first of many times at the end of the first half, with Taylan May getting his 2nd and Crichton converting to make it 12-6 at the break.
For the first scoring play of the second half, the Panthers would take advantage of the Knights lack of urgency getting to the loose ball off a Luai kick, with Taylan May diving on the ball in the in goal for his second.
Sorenson made a mistake on the set after points, and Tex Hoy showcased his speed to strike back instantly for Newcastle on the ensuing set.
The resurgence was short lived, as a Taylan May grubber in the 57th minute was grounded by Tago for his second try.
The Panthers looked to be running away with it as Clifford's kick-off out on the full was met with a try from Stephen Crichton, who got on the outside of Bradman Best and was too quick.
However, the Knights got a penalty on their next possession and Bradman Best made up for it immediately by crossing himself, and all of a sudden it was only a 12-point game.
Knights fans dared to dream when Enari Tuala crossed in the 72nd minute, but a missed conversion and two late Panthers tries to May and Staines quickly dashed those hopes to give us a final score of 38-20.