Five-star Johnston sinks Panthers, Tigers climb off the bottom

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Alex Johnston claimed a record-equalling five-try haul for South Sydney Rabbitohs on Sunday as Michael Maguire's men thrashed Penrith Panthers 42-14.

Johnston was the undoubted star of the show at ANZ Stadium, matching a club record most recently achieved by Nathan Merritt in 2011, but half-back Adam Reynolds also excelled and converted each of the Bunnies' seven tries.

Sam Burgess and Braidon Burns were the other men to cross for Souths, while Johnston even saw a sixth try ruled out when the video referee spotted a knock-on in the build-up.

Sunday's other fixture saw Wests Tigers end a seven-match losing streak with a 33-12 triumph over Newcastle Knights, who drop back to the bottom of the ladder as a result.

The contest was effectively put to bed in the first half as tries from Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, Jacob Liddle and former Knight Kevin Naiqama, together with four goals from Tuimoala Lolohea gave the Tigers a 20-0 lead.

Newcastle belatedly improved, but their revival came far too late in the piece.