Panthers top Manly to stay unbeaten in NRL

Penrith have overcome a serious challenge from Manly to claim a hard-fought 28-16 NRL victory in Bathurst.

Turns out an injection of Turbo can't beat a well-oiled machine.

Penrith overcame a serious challenge from Manly in Bathurst to claim a hard-fought 28-16 victory, extending their mighty unbeaten start to the NRL season to eight games.

The ladder leaders had to overcome another classy effort from Tom Trbojevic, who has sparked the Sea Eagles' resurgence since his return from injury two weeks ago and notched a team-high 191 run metres on Saturday.

Manly's three tries - two of which involved their star fullback - were the most the Panthers have conceded this season.

But, led once again by star halfback Nathan Cleary and in-form winger Brian To'o, the 'home' side answered each Manly surge to keep their winning streak intact.

Not since Melbourne in 2012 has an NRL side opened their campaign unbeaten after eight weeks. The Storm, who defeated Penrith in last year's grand final, went on to lift the trophy that year.

Down 16-6 at halftime, the Sea Eagles drew within four when Daly Cherry-Evans fielded his own grubber that hit the post and cannoned off a chasing Trbojevic.

But Penrith answered through Tyrone May in the 57th minute.

Manly set up a grandstand finish when winger Jason Saab burned Dylan Edwards on a 60-metre run, only for Liam Martin to acrobatically tap back a grubber over the deadball line for Stephen Crichton to seal another Panthers victory.

The Sea Eagles drew first blood on a Reuben Garrick penalty goal, but their lead lasted just five minutes as the Panthers responded emphatically with two tries in as many sets.

The first was a contender for try of the season.

It began with Edwards fielding a kick on his 10-metre line, finding Jarome Luai, who ducked under a tackle, before To'o steamrolled Cherry-Evans and found Matt Burton, who kicked ahead for Edwards.

Not content with that long-range effort, the Panthers found more joy down the same edge three minutes later, with Luai firing a two-man cut-out pass for To'o.

And it could've been three in a row if not for a resting Trbojevic intercepting a James Fisher-Harris offload and sprinting 60 metres to score against the run of play.

But the Panthers took a 10-point lead at the break when Cleary put Martin through a hole untouched, completing a strong first half from the hosts.

The only sour point for Penrith was the citing of centre Matt Burton, who was reported for high contact on Martin Taupau late in the contest.