Penrith's next generation have shocked and entertained all-comers this season but now face their sternest test - finals footy.

The Panthers will climb into sixth with a win over Manly in their last-round fixture at Pepper Stadium tonight, although it matters little - they will face Canterbury at ANZ Stadium in week one of the finals regardless.

After six wins in their past seven, including four on the trot, the Panthers are shaping as the competition's dark horse.

Most sides don't know what to make of them - given a penchant for second phase play that sees them lead the league for offloads.


However, their ability to handle finals footy remains an unknown quantity.

Of the 17-man squad which will take on the Sea Eagles today, just four remain from their last finals appearance against Canterbury in 2014.