A Tyrone Peachey brainsnap in the 78th minute has gifted Gold Coast an unlikely 28-24 win at Pepper Stadium on Sunday.
With scores locked at 24-all, Peter Wallace was chased out of a field goal attempt when he threw a pass to Peachey, who dropped the ball then inexplicably failed to dive on it.
Titans halfback Ashley Taylor then picked it up and raced downfield, before Anthony Don acrobatically dived over in the corner one play later to steal a bizarre win.
It was yet another heartbreaking loss in a season of many for the Panthers, who may also have lost centre Peta Hiku with a season-ending injury and are now clinging onto their spot in the top eight.
The New Zealand international was stretchered off after an awkward tackle early in the second half, and could now join fellow Kiwi Dean Whare on the long-term casualty list at Penrith.
One day before NSW State of Origin coach Laurie Daley names his team for game one, none of Penrith’s five Blues hopefuls stood out in front of the crowd of 11,210.
Skipper Matt Moylan led a troupe of Panthers, including Josh Mansour, Bryce Cartwright, Trent Merrin and Peachey that have been in contention for Blues call-ups over the past month.
However the home side, who hadn’t trailed until Peachey’s fadeout, were left to rue yet another two points that got away.
The two teams went try for try from the moment Titans fullback William Zillman attempted to save a Peter Wallace 40-20 attempt only to flick the ball straight to Panthers winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak who scored in the eighth minute.
Second row counterparts Greg Bird and Tyrone Peachey then traded tries before Titans supersub Agnatius Paasi levelled the game on the stroke of halftime by taking a Ryan James offload.
Moylan showed a touch of class when he dubiously batted on for a one-handed Mansour putdown in the 58th minute, however mid-season recruit Nathan Peats again locked the scores from close range in the 64th.
Panthers prop Leilani Latu thought he had given the home team the upper hand when he broke through a tiring defence in the 70th minute.
However his try was also cancelled out by an Ashley Taylor try five minutes later, before Don broke the trend with the game-winner not long after.