Penrith have sent an ominous warning to week-one finals opponents Canterbury with a first-half demolition of Manly in the final NRL game of the regular season.
Panthers skipper Matt Moylan whipped their season-high 15,411 crowd at Pepper Stadium into a frenzy by having a hand in four of the tries in the 36-6 rout.
Winger Josh Mansour nabbed a double, while rookie Nathan Cleary kicked a perfect six from six.
The Panthers win, their fifth in succession and seventh in eight games, moves them to sixth on the NRL ladder and sets up an intriguing elimination final against at out-of-form Bulldogs outfit at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.
For the Sea Eagles, their fifth straight loss leaves them with a 13th-placed finish and plenty of thinking to do for first-year coach Trent Barrett.
The Warriors finished 10th on the table after their 40-18 loss to Parramatta in Auckland.
NRL FINALS, WEEK ONE:
.. 1st Elimination Final
Brisbane Broncos v Gold Coast Titans, Friday September 9, Suncorp Stadium, 8pm (AEST)
.. 1st Qualifying Final
Canberra Raiders v Cronulla Sharks, Saturday September 10, GIO Stadium, 5.30pm
.. 2nd Qualifying Final
Melbourne Storm v North Queensland Cowboys, Saturday September 10, AAMI Park, 8pm
.. 2nd Elimination Final
Penrith Panthers v Canterbury Bulldogs, Sunday September 11, Allianz Stadium, 4pm