Penrith has won four straight games to start a season for the first time in the NRL era, eclipsing Manly 46-6 at Lottoland tonight.
It was Penrith’s 19th straight regular season win, set up after they raced to a 22-0 lead after as many minutes.
Brian To’o bagged a double in the first half while Moses Leota scored a rare four-pointer and Viliame Kikau continued his strong form with a try of his own.
The Sea Eagles stopped the bleeding in the final 15 minutes of the first half and scored a try to reduce the margin to 22-6 at the break, but Kikau grabbed his second early in the second half (after passing a HIA) to give the visitors breathing space.
By the time Matt Burton scored to give Penrith a 30-6 lead with a quarter of the game to go, victory was out of reach for Manly, who have started the season with four straight losses.
From there the Panthers were in second gear – grabbing another four pointer through Kurt Capewell off a brilliant Nathan Cleary kick, and cruising to a 40-point win with a late Paul Momirovski try and a Nathan Cleary penalty goal adding to the tally.
Incredibly, the Panthers have conceded just three tries in four games in what has been a stellar start to the season.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary labelled it a “professional” performance.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.