The Sydney Roosters have announced themselves as serious NRL premiership contenders, thumping Penrith 32-6 in a match that could have serious State of Origin ramifications.
NSW incumbents Latrell Mitchell (neck) and Reagan Campbell-Gillard (suspected broken jaw) were both injured on Friday night, as was Queensland's Dylan Napa (ankle) just nine days out from Origin II.
Campbell-Gillard and Napa will go for scans on Saturday morning but both are considered highly unlikely to run out onto ANZ Stadium next Sunday.
Mitchell was later spotted sitting up in the dressing rooms after being taken off on a medicab, but officials are hopeful he will recover.
However, the injuries shouldn't take away from the Roosters' best performance of the year to go to fifth on the ladder.
Trent Robinson's men skipped to an early 18-0 lead after 15 minutes that never looked in doubt.
Blake Ferguson crossed twice, including the hosts' first, after Joseph Manu had intercepted a Maloney pass and threatened to score himself on the play before.
Five-eighth Luke Keary was also dangerous as he set up two tries, while Mitchell was dangerous before going off.
The pair combined for the Roosters' best try of the night in the 15th minute, when Keary spread the ball left, Mitchell stepped and flicked the ball back to the five-eighth who put Zane Tetevano over.
The Roosters' often-maligned pack also delivered despite the absence of Napa from the 14th minute.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves played the full 80 minutes to top the charts with 224 metres, while NSW captain Boyd Cordner also ran 178m after being rested for last week's win over Newcastle.
"I said to the boys after the game that I thought it was our best performance so far and that it's laid a platform for where we need to go," Robinson said.
"I don't think it was out of the box or extraordinary play that got us there. It was a consistent quality, intense footy from 17 guys.
"It was something we can repeat often."
The performance was easily the Panthers' worst of the year. They had entered the match equal on wins with St George Illawarra at the top of the ladder and just one point behind on for-and-against.
Maloney had an unhappy night with the boot to go with the intercept and potential glute problem, twice gifting the Roosters 20m taps and once sending the ball out on the full.
However, he and halves partner Nathan Cleary weren't helped by the Panthers having just 37 per cent of the ball and completed at only 69 per cent.
"This period is disjointed," Maloney said.
"You've got people away at different stages travelling, it's a bit disrupted. I think that can have an effect. It's not an excuse. We need to be better. We should have been better.
"We need to make sure as we go through this period where guys are in and out. We missed the mark last week and got away with it, it really hit home tonight."