Fullback Dylan Edwards starred for the Panthers, scoring the first hat-trick of his career in the first half, before adding a fourth try for good measure.
Penrith’s first half effort – five converted tries and a penalty goal – was the highest first half score conceded by the Sea Eagles in the State of Origin era dating back to 1980.
Speaking post-match, Edwards credited his teammates for his scintillating performance.
“Scoring four tries is something nice, but obviously it’s off the back of the work all the way up the field,” he told Fox League.
“I just got lucky with a couple of them, I just had to just pretty much cross over the line.”
The reigning champions repeatedly targeted Manly’s left edge, breaking through the thin defence.
“That was a bit of a plan, we knew that they’ve got a strong forward pack through the middle there, so if we could build a bit of momentum and shift the ball, get it out to the edges and make some metres through that way, we were going to [get through], Edwards said.
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“And we were fortunate enough to be able to do that.”
It took Manly just short of an hour to register a score – with Jason Saab pouncing on a grubber in the 58th minute.
NRL Highlights: Panthers v Sea Eagles – Round 6
But after hitting the scoreboard, the match appeared to balance up in the second half as the Sea Eagles held the Panthers to 12 points a piece.
A ginger Tom Trbojevic crossed over for a consolation try late in the 73rd minute, seemingly nursing an injury niggle.
Manly was down to 15 players early after Karl Lawton was subbed off with what appeared to be a dislocated shoulder, and Reuben Garrick with a category two concussion after failing his second head injury assessment.
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