Penrith Panthers thrash Melbourne Storm 32-6 in NRL Magic Round as Gold Coast and South Sydney record victories

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Penrith has moved to the top of the premiership ladder after brushing the Melbourne Storm aside in a 32-6 win during the NRL's Magic Round on Saturday night.

Earlier, Gold Coast got past St George Illawarra with a 20-16 golden-point win, while South Sydney held on to defeat a fast-finishing Warriors outfit 32-30.

In front of 46,454 spectators at Brisbane's Lang Park, Penrith never relented after scoring two tries inside the opening 10 minutes.

The Storm was down on star power, with fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen (knee) and centre Reimis Smith (pectoral) both injured in last Sunday's win over the Dragons, while halfback Jahrome Hughes (calf) pulled out on match day.

It was the first time the two sides had faced each other since last year's preliminary final on the same ground when the Storm was also outplayed.

The Panthers were ruthless when it came to capitalising on the Storm's mistakes.

And there was some immediate concern the Storm might lose another of their star spine members in the opening set of the match.

Harry Grant got up groggily after he received an ugly knock while attempting to tackle James Fisher-Harris.

Grant was given the all-clear to play on but it was those stepping up from reserve grade who allowed the Panthers to hit an early lead.

The Panthers sensed a vulnerability in Melbourne's right-edge defence, which contained halfback Cooper Johns and Marion Seve at centre in their first matches of the season.

Izack Tago ran through a big hole Seve left for the Panthers' first try before Viliame Kikau outjumped the Storm centre to add Penrith's second after nine minutes.

Melbourne rallied with a well-weighted kick from five-eighth Cameron Munster that was easily regathered for Nick Meaney to score but it was the Storm's only try of the night.

Cleary responded by adding a penalty for the Panthers and then targeted another stand-in, this time fullback Tyran Wishart, with one of his aerial bombs.

Wishart dropped the ball under pressure from Kikau and Tago touched down to give the Panthers a 20-6 lead at half-time.

Melbourne kept Penrith at bay for the first 15 minutes of the second half but the pressure told when Kikau ran at Johns and the Fijian international offloaded to Jarome Luai to score.

Stephen Crichton added another try for Penrith in the 62nd minute.

Panthers coach Ivan Cleary was not given clearance to travel after having an operation on his knee but is likely to be back on deck for next week's match against the Sydney Roosters.

Titans edge Dragons in slippery golden-point period

A golden-point try to Gold Coast's Jamayne Isaako has secured the Titans a thrilling win over St George Illawarra, snapping a five-match losing run.

A knock-on by Dragons' five-eighth Talatau Amone in the second half of the extra period gifted the Titans field position and after spreading the ball wide, Isaako just held onto the ball to dive over and claim the crucial win after 89 minutes.

It came after a heart-stopping first half of golden point where Isaako and Zac Lomax missed field goal shots.

Both teams scored three tries apiece in regulation time to be level 16-16 at full-time with recalled forward Jarrod Wallace's close-range 73rd-minute try cancelling out what Moses Suli thought would be the winner for the Dragons just four minutes before.

The Titans made a bright start, sparked by captain Tino Fa'asumaleaui's big hit on Jack De Belin in the opening minutes.

Their enterprise was rewarded when a Toby Sexton bomb was batted back by Phillip Sami and eventually worked to AJ Brimson, who dived over for his second try of the year.

The Titans enjoyed a period of dominance as they forced the Dragons into five straight line drop-outs.

Despite Josh McGuire being sin-binned for a professional foul, the Dragons held out the Titans and levelled the scores when Mathew Feagai crossed in the 21st minute with McGuire still off the field.

Gold Coast managed to snatch back the lead in the 28th minute when Beau Fermor pounced on a Sexton grubber to give the Titans a 10-4 half-time lead.

McGuire did not return for the second half as his 250th match ended early due to a groin injury but with Hunt steering proceedings, the Dragons levelled again in the 54th minute when De Belin crashed over for his second try in as many weeks.

Returning Jayden Campbell's 60th-minute break, where he stepped through several Dragons tackles down the middle of the field, had the crowd on their feet before Brimson took it within 10 metres of the line.

But Gold Coast was unable to back up their young fullback's work with a knock-on just moments later.

When Sami was placed on report for a shoulder charge as Mikaele Ravalawa tried to force his way over in the corner, Lomax stepped up to kick the penalty goal and put the Dragons in front for the first time in the match with 15 minutes to play.

Suli barrelled over in the 69th minute and the Dragons appeared to be heading to a win but Wallace's rampaging effort moments later again levelled the scores and set up a grandstand finish.

Neither team could find a field goal to win the match in the remaining five minutes before the extra period and Isaako's dramatic winner.

Warriors' comeback effort falls short against Rabbitohs

After trailing 26-0 in the first half and 32-6 in the final quarter of the game, the Warriors launched an audacious comeback attempt against Souths, only to fall agonisingly short.

Against 12 Rabbitohs for the final six minutes, the Warriors scored twice at the death to put the fear of God into Souths, but could not get in position for a Hail Mary two-point field goal to level the scores.

Coming off a disappointing loss to Brisbane, South Sydney came out with a point to prove in the first game of Saturday's NRL action, with five-eighth Cody Walker orchestrating a five-try opening half-hour.

Marcelo Montoya got one back for the Warriors on the stroke of half-time, but when Souths crossed through Lachlan Ilias to start the second stanza, it seemed like game over.

But the New Zealanders refused to go away, sending Adam Pompey and Jazz Tevaga over in the 64th and 69th minutes respectively before Shaun Johnson narrowly missed out on a solo grubber-and-chase effort.

He looked furious with his own fullback, Reece Walsh, for running him off the ball with the four points his for the taking, but the bunker ruled Walsh had been illegally bumped by Damien Cook in his chase. Team stats

Cook was sent to the sin bin for the final six minutes of the game and no sooner had he left the ground than Daejarn Asi scooted over for the Warriors.

Montoya added his second in the 78th minute and Walsh's conversion made it 32-30, leaving the Warriors a minute to get into field-goal range, but they could not get there, with Johnson's rushed 50-metre shot charged down, ending the game.


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