Trent Robinson has hailed Cooper Cronk's composure in his first hit out for the Sydney Roosters as fellow marquee recruit James Tedesco powered the Tricolours to a 28-26 pre-season NRL trial win over Manly.
After the Roosters' new era began with 11 straight minutes of defence in Gosford and a 16-0 deficit, doubles from Latrell Mitchell and Tedesco ushered the Tri-colours to victory.
Cronk looked comfortable in getting through 50 minutes of work despite both sides making plenty of handling errors.
Bereft of attacking opportunities early, his combination with hooker Jake Friend at least appeared slick and he was constantly vocal.
"I thought he put his influence on the team around his control of the game," Robinson said.
"It wasn't going our way right from the start so we needed to. It was good practice there for how you control the way you want to play when you're behind on the scoreboard."
Mitchell showed signs of fulfilling his highly-heralded potential this season in creating his two first-half tries from nothing to put the Roosters back in the match.
His first came when he broke 60 metres down the left wing to open the Roosters' scoring before powering through four Sea Eagles on the half-time break to reduce the margin to six.
Tedesco then exploded after halftime to put an exclamation mark on his 60-minute performance.
After limited involvement early, he pounced on a Jake Friend grubber in the 50th minute to bring the Roosters level at 22-22 before a try-scoring chip-chase five minutes later to take a six-point lead.
"People call it talent but it's not talent. The guy works on that kind of stuff and backs his eyes," Robinson said.
"You could see his confidence growing late in the first half and into the second half.
"He was coming into his game more and more and he knew where to turn up for the players."
Manly threatened to fight back late when Akuila Uate crossed but Api Koroisau missed the kick from the sideline to level the match.
Regardless, coach Trent Barrett was happy with his new-look spine with Lachlan Croker at five-eighth as both sides finished with five tries.
The rookie had a hand in Manly's opening four-pointer as he and Daly Cherry-Evans spread the ball right in the second minute and had plenty of involvement as the Sea Eagles built their lead.
He and Cherry-Evans spent 70 minutes together in their only trial appearance ahead of their round-one clash against Newcastle.
Fullback Tom Trbojevic scored in the first-half off hooker Koroisau while older brother Jake got through 53 busy minutes in his return from a World Cup-ending pectoral injury.
"I thought Croks and Cherry and Tom and Api were particularly good," Barrett said.
"Particularly at the start, it's not always easy when you do get a lot of good ball at the start of the game and it's the first time they've played together."