Roberts injured as in-form Broncos beat Panthers

Updated: 

James Roberts suffered a knee injury as Brisbane Broncos stretched their winning run to four NRL matches with a 32-18 victory over the struggling Penrith Panthers, moving up to third in the table

The Panthers were torn apart in the first half at Suncorp stadium on Thursday and, despite rallying after the break, they were unable to avoid a fifth consecutive defeat.

Wayne Bennett's in-form side scored 22 points without reply prior to the interval, running in four of their six tries as the Panthers were blown away.

The Panthers were puzzled when James Tamou had an early try controversially ruled out and two tries in the space of seven minutes from Kodi Nikorima and Roberts put Brisbane in command.

Fit-again wing Jordan Kahu plucked a high kick from Anthony Milford to another try and converted for a third time after Tautau Moga dotted down following a great run from Alex Glenn.

Korbin Sims added a fifth Broncos try, but Penrith scored three in the space of eight minutes from Trent Merrin, Matt Moylan, Reagan Campbell-Gillard - all of which Nathan Cleary converted to make it a 10-point game with six minutes to play.

The Broncos suffered a major blow when Roberts was helped off after being struck on the knee by the swinging leg of Matt Gillett, who caught Penrith napping to score right at the end, with Kahu's conversion attempted striking the woodwork.