Penrith won its club-record sixth match in a row while Brisbane stayed marginally ahead of the Canberra Raiders in first place in Australia's National Rugby League.
The Panthers beat the Wests Tigers 26-4 to join reigning premiers the Sydney Roosters tied for third behind the co-leading Broncos and Raiders, each with 18 points.
The Panthers were barely extended and had the match clinched at halftime after tries to hooker Luke Priddis, winger Brett Howland, halfback Craig Gower and fullback Rhys Wesser -- his 14th of the season.
Brisbane beat the Bulldogs 24-0 to stay on top with a 9-2 record while Canberra fought back from a 10-0 deficit to beat the New Zealand Warriors 18-10, its eighth win in 10 matches.
St. George Illawarra held on for an 18-16 victory over cellar-dwelling South Sydney. With four minutes remaining Souths won a scrum against the feed 10 meters from the Dragons' line but referee Bill Harrigan allowed Brett Firman to re-feed the scrum and relieve the pressure. Brett Kimmorley scored three tries to lead Cronulla to a 30-24 win in Newcastle over the Knights.
Cronulla's Paul Gallen became the first NRL player to be sent off this season after committing a high tackle on Sean Rudder with 15 minutes remaining. The ensuing penalty put Newcastle ahead 24-20 but the Knights were not able to hold on despite their one-man advantage.
Kimmorley regathered a Jye Mullane grubber which bounced off an upright to help give Cronulla an unlikely lead. He then grabbed his third intercept of the match and complete his hat trick.