Eye surgery appears to have been a success for Shaun Johnson after the playmaker showed great vision to steer the Warriors to a 20-14 NRL trial win over Gold Coast.
The classy Kiwi No.7 hit the ground running in his first match since the Rugby League World Cup, showing no signs of discomfort from surgery which removed a benign growth under his right eye just three weeks ago.
Johnson quickly found a foil in ex-Manly playmaker Blake Green, who was combining with the Warriors talisman in the halves for the first time.
Johnson had said he was happy to hand over the reins to Green this year and let the 31-year-old playmaker steer the ship.
But Johnson was the one who stepped up when the Warriors needed him at at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday.
He constantly tested the Titans defence before firing a pin-point cut-out pass for winger David Fusitu'a to score his second try by the 47th minute and give the visitors a 14-6 lead.
"I feel a lot better after that. That gives me a lot of confidence," Johnson said.
"But I don't really know if there is a combo at the moment (with Green).
"I have had this conversation a number of times over the years with different halves partners but the one thing I keep saying is that it just takes time."
Long suffering Warriors fans have not had much to cheer about of late, with their club failing to make the top eight since their 2011 grand final appearance.
But they will no doubt dare to dream, again, in 2018 with Johnson spearheading a new-look Warriors.
Adam Blair and Tohu Harris made their Warriors debuts on Saturday while captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Simon Mannering, Issac Luke and Sam Lisone all got their first runs of the year.
For the Titans, Queensland hopeful Ash Taylor was at his dangerous best throughout his first hitout of 2018, scoring the opening try in the 14th minute.
Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan called up every fit player on his roster, including new faces Michael Gordon, Will Matthews and Mitch Rein.
Konrad Hurrell, Nathan Peats and Ryan James played their first game for the Titans in 2018.
However, Will Matthews (concussion) and Brendan Elliott (ankle) soon joined the Titans' long absentee list.
The Warriors grabbed a 10-6 halftime lead before Johnson's creativity blew the deficit out to 14-6 soon after the main break.
Sam Cook burrowed over from dummy half in the 70th minute to seal the result despite some late resistance from the Titans, with a double from Tyronne Roberts-Davis concluding a match which ended in torrential rain.