Manly have sunk to their worst start to a season in both attack and defence after Viliame Kikau powered Penrith to a 46-6 flogging.
A week after pulling off the try-saver of the season to win the game for Penrith against Melbourne, Kikau was at his damaging best in attack at Brookvale Oval.
The second-rower bagged a double on Thursday night, busting through six tackles and putting on two offloads while likely leaving Daly Cherry-Evans having nightmares about tackling him.
Jarome Luai was also superb, dazzling the Sea Eagles’ defence with his quick feet and hands as he set up four tries.
The demolition job compounded what had already been a horror start to Manly’s season, which is now their worst ever opening month in the club’s 74-year history.
Manly’s 34 points scored in the opening month is their lowest through four rounds, while the 156 points conceded is also a record worst through the period.
But the unbeaten Panthers are having no such woes as they try to go one step further than last year’s grand final loss.
Their attack is well and truly humming, throwing the ball around with confidence and scoring four tries in the opening 25 minutes to blow Manly out of the water.
Kikau bagged a double to go with Brian To’o’s two tries, while Matt Burton also scored once and had some dangerous moments filling in at left centre.
Their best try of the night came when Moses Leota went over from a James Fisher-Harris offload, after the ball had gone through six sets of hands from within their own half on the previous play.
Another came when Nathan Cleary grubber-kicked, regathered and then put on a short chip kick for Kurt Capewell to dot down.
To’o scored one of his when Mitch Kenny changed the point of attack out of dummy-half, before Luai and Burton combined to put the winger over.
Kikau’s four-pointers meanwhile didn’t do his damaging performance justice.
His first was from a ricocheted Luai grubber kick, while his second after the break came when Luai put him into a gap created by a Morgan Boyle injury and the second-rower charged over.
The Panthers’ only issue came in the form of Kenny being put on report for a crusher tackle, with first-choice dummy-half Apisai Koroisau already out injured.
Meanwhile, Manly have more bodies to add to their casualty ward.
Boyle dislocated his shoulder in another blow to the Sea Eagles’ back-row stocks, while centre Moses Suli copped a knee to the back.
They could at least get Tom Trbojevic back next week against the Warriors, with Manly desperately needing him to add some spark to their ailing attack.