The Penrith Panthers have not wavered from the script in the slightest, smashing the Sea Eagles by 40 points in front of just over 6000 fans at Lottoland.
The writing was on the wall early on for the Northern Beaches side, with Brad Parker coughing up Cleary's kick in the 4th minute and the Panthers immediately capitalising off the scrum win through Brian To'o.
The Penrith forwards were dominant early on, rolling upfield with extreme ease in a set that ended with Isaah Yeo putting some sublime passing skills on display to send James Fisher-Harris through a small gap, while Moses Leota was there to receive the offload.
It was a mixed night for Viliame Kikau, who scored two tries in the 17th and 48th minute respectively, but in between that time was forced off the field due to a nasty looking head knock, but was allowed to return after passing his HIA. The second rower was then given a rest at the end of the match by Ivan Cleary.
The small crowd was given a smidgen of hope before the break, when Cade Cust showed some excellent speed and strength to streak over the line and touch down beneath the uprights, however it was soon dashed when it took the Panthers just 8 minutes of the second half to get over the stripe again.
There were some bizarre scenes midway through the second 40, when Penrith were originally awarded a penalty at the end of a Manly set, but the bunker told the on field referee of a crusher tackle at the very start of the set committed by Mitch Kenny and play came all the way back so Manly could kick for touch, disregarding an entire set of 6. It mattered little in the end, although Mitch Kenny will be sweating on the decision of the match review committee as he was placed on report.
The Panthers then scored two tries in 5 minutes, with Matt Burton proving quite the all-rounder, backing up his sublime kicking display last week with a strong run to beat Jason Saab and score. Kurt Capewell then made it a 30 point ball game, grounding the ball in goal after a deft kick from Nathan Cleary.
Charlie Staines then stole the show in the last two minutes, creating an overlap for Paul Momirovski to score, while another effort to set up a try went under-rewarded as Nathan Cleary was taken out illegally by Daly Cherry-Evans and the Panthers were forced to settle for a penalty goal, making the final score 46-6.
Next week, Manly will face another challenge as they travel up to the Central Coast to take on the Warriors, while the Panthers will host a Friday night blockbuster against the Raiders.