Penrith temporarily moved back into the NRL top eight with an impressive 20-6 win over South Sydney at Pepper Stadium on Friday night.
In front of a healthy crowd of 14,068, a dynamic Bryce Cartwright produced a starring 80-minute performance from the second row, playing a hand in two of his side’s four tries.
Skipper Peter Wallace also came up with a handful of key plays at crucial times to help the Panthers record back-to-back victories for just the second time this season.
The Rabbitohs’ loss was further compounded when prop David Tyrell was taken off on a stretcher midway through the second half after a sickening head clash with Nigel Plum, while second-rower John Sutton also failed to finish the game after coming off with a suspected bicep issue.
Penrith were up 8-0 when Wallace chased down a Jamie Soward grubber in the 51st minute, before Cartwright showed quick hands for Waqa Blake to get the deciding try in the 62nd.
South Sydney winger Joel Reddy got one back by latching onto an Adam Reynolds kick in the 73rd minute, but Apisai Koroisau sealed the win with a penalty goal in the dying moments.
The hosts had earlier opened with the perfect defensive first half, keeping the visitors scoreless, while crossing twice through Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Dean Whare.
First the Panthers fullback picked up the crumbs from a Soward cross-field kick for Blake in the 10th, then Cartwright produced a magical flick pass that ended in Whare finishing off a 50-metre movement in the 24th.
The Rabbitohs weren’t without their chances and were twice held-up over the line by a stoic Panthers defence.