The Panthers fumbled their way to a disappointing 34-26 defeat against Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.
The visitors were dealt an early blow as Sam McKendry left the game with a suspected ACL injury in his right knee.
It didn't stop the Panthers from scoring a spectacular try as winger Josh Mansour acrobatically touched down in the 17th minute, with barely a centimetre to spare.
James Fisher-Harris was next to cross for the Panthers as he finished off a move sparked by Tyrone Peachey catching and offloading a fifth-tackle bomb.
The Panthers were out to a 14-2 lead but the Tigers hit back with four consecutive tries for a 22-14 advantage at the break.
Tigers centre Tim Simona grabbed a double - the first courtesy of a scything run from James Tedesco and the second a clean intercept and 60-metre dash to the tryline.
HALFTIME - Wests Tigers 22-14
It didn't get much better in the second half as the Panthers failed to complete their first set, and the Tigers responded with another try. This time it was Jordan Rankin the beneficiary as Tedesco burned Cartwright on the outside.
Even when it looked like the Panthers had hit back through Fisher-Harris, the video referee overturned the on-field decision after spotting a Moylan knock-on in the lead-up play.
There was space for the Panthers to exploit but the Tigers scrambled well to shut it down or force an error whenever danger beckoned.
The game was put out of reach for the Panthers as Sauaso Sue broke clear and offloaded for Robbie Farah to score beneath the posts.
With 12 minutes left in the contest debutant Zak Hardaker almost crossed for his first Panthers try but was deemed to have lost possession.
Trent Merrin finally snapped the Tigers scoring streak with a try in the 74th minute. Isaah Yeo then chipped in with a try of his own on the end of a break from Waqa Blake.
However it was little consolation for performance which raised serious concerns about the team's finals credentials in 2016.
FULLTIME - Wests Tigers 34-26