Off-contract St George Illawarra half Corey Norman has produced his best game in recent memory to pile further pain on Manly with a 38-12 win in Wollongong.
Just days after admitting he was facing one of the most important years of his career, Norman had a role in three of the Dragons' four tries.
It helped the Saints move into the NRL's top eight for the first time since April 2019, having started the season as early wooden-spoon favourites.
Manly meanwhile could well be in the running for the race to avoid bottom spot, with their 0-3 record their worst start to a season in 12 years.
But while the Sea Eagles struggled, Norman starred.
He kicked once for Zac Lomax to score and twice provided nice balls in the lead up to Matt Dufty tries, while the fullback bombed another from a Norman bust.
The 30-year-old also took more control over the Dragons' attack in the second half, when they completed at 95 per cent with Ben Hunt battling a cork.
His star turn came after Norman this week spoke about playing for a contract for the first time in his career, with talks yet to begin on a new deal and knowing he needs to impress.
"Corey was brilliant," coach Anthony Griffin said. "He is a good player, he's a really good player.
"Obviously he hasn't been happy with what we've been doing for the last period of his career and he needs to play well.
"At the club we have guys like him and Ben Hunt who need to play well."
Hunt also set up two tries before he was eventually put on ice, as his old combination with Norman and Andrew McCullough under Griffin continues to grow.
The trio helped Lomax bag a double in the big win, as the centre also equalled a club record with 22 points on his own.
In what was easily the Dragons' most complete performance since halfway through last year, Paul Vaughan also finished with 160 metres up front.
In contrast, the Sea Eagles are in disarray and must face Penrith next week.
While their first two heavy losses came at the hands of title contenders South Sydney and the Roosters, they would have expected more on Friday night.
Their only tries came when the Dragons made a meal of a kick, and a late consolation effort to Daly Cherry-Evans.
They completed at just 64 per cent, and Dylan Walker again looked out of sorts at the back with Tom Trbojevic still another fortnight away from returning.
"We were frantic with the ball," coach Des Hasler admitted. "We had the run of the first half but completed at about 45 per cent which is just not acceptable at this level and it's difficult to build pressure.
"We need to reconstruct our mentality with the ball at the moment."