Penrith produced a professional display to beat Melbourne 21-14 at Campbelltown Stadium.
The Panthers opened the scoring in the 18th minute through Stephen Crichton, while Melbourne forward Felise Kaufusi brought the score level at 6-6 on the half hour mark.
Penrith led 8-6 at the break though thanks to a penalty goal from Nathan Cleary late on in the first half.
Ivan Cleary’s Panthers extended their lead in the 49th minute as Brian To’o went over out wide. Cleary’s conversion gave his side an eight-point advantage.
Storm fought their way back into the game and Brenko Lee scored, with Cameron Smith’s conversion being on target.
Cameron Smith added a penalty goal for Melbourne on the hour to level the score once more at 14-14.
The Panthers soon regained the lead though as Viliame Kikau collected a Cleary chip to touch down. Cleary converted to put his side 20-14 up with 17 minutes remaining.
And in the 77th minute, Cleary stepped up to slot a drop goal for his side.
Panthers forward Liam Martin was sin-binned in the final minute for a professional foul but Penrith hung on for an impressive 21-14 victory over the Storm.
Penrith: Edwards; Mansour, Whare, Crichton, To’o; Luai, Cleary; Tamou, Koroisau, Fisher-Harris, Kikau, Martin, Yeo. Subs: Burton, Tetevano, Leota, Burns.
Tries: Crichton, To’o, Kikau Goals: Cleary 4/4 Drop Goals: Cleary 1
Melbourne: Papenhuyzen; Vunivalu, Olam, Lee, Seve; Munster, Jacks; J Bromwich, C Smith, B Smith, Kaufusi, K Bromwich, Finucane. Subs: Welch, Faasuamaleaui, Eisenhuth, Asofa-Solomona.
Tries: Kaufusi, Lee Goals: Smith 3/3
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