Penrith provided further encouragement for the upcoming NRL season by thrashing Newcastle 41-16 in a trial match at Port Macquarie on Saturday night.

The Panthers welcomed back Test stars Petero Civoniceva, Michael Jennings, Luke Lewis and Trent Waterhouse and they had an instant impact in front of more than 6,000 spectators.

Speedster Jennings bagged a hat-trick while Lewis scored twice as Penrith proved too classy for a Knights outfit missing injured stars Kurt Gidley, Adam MacDougall and Steve Simpson.

It wasn't all good news for the mountain men though, with fullback Lachlan Coote taken to hospital with concussion after a heavy clash with Wes Naiqama in his comeback match from injury.

The win followed Penrith's impressive 32-12 trial win over Parramatta last week, leaving coach Matt Elliott optimistic about the season ahead.

"You don't want to get too carried away," Elliott said.

"They are only trial matches, but the intent and intensity of the performance tonight was again another indication of how we're getting ready for the competition.

"I'm proud of them as a team.

"I don't care what happens in the season, I said that last year (I was proud of them) but we've advanced and we've got more depth to go further."

Jennings opened the scoring in the sixth minute when he crossed out wide before Cooper Vuna opened the Knights' account in the 19th minute when he took advantage of some poor one-on-one defending.

Lewis sliced through shortly after before Cory Paterson levelled the scores at 12-all before the break.

The game was brought to a half shortly after halftime Coote lay motionless on the deck but officials were hopeful after the match his injury was nothing more than concussion.

The game remained evenly balanced until Penrith assumed control with new recruit Travis Burns, veteran winger Shane Elford and halfback Luke Walsh all getting in on the try-scoring act.

Kevin Naiqama crossed again for the Knights before Walsh iced the victory with a field goal.

The Panthers face Canberra at CUA Stadium on March 13 in their season opener while the Knights meet Canterbury.