An inspired Warriors have welcomed the return of Shaun Johnson's spark in a dominant 34-14 NRL win over Manly in Christchurch.
In his 150th match, Johnson scored a try and laid on three to vie with rampaging wingers Ken Maumalo and David Fusitu'a for man of the match honours on Saturday.
Fusitu'a crossed three times in nine minutes in the second spell to storm to a competition-leading 15 tries.
The Warriors' ninth win ensures they remain fourth while luckless Manly languish in the bottom four with a third loss in a row and 10th defeat overall.
Up 8-0 after dominating the opening quarter, the Sea Eagles' hopes took a sizeable blow when early try-scorer Api Koroisau limped off with a foot injury.
His absence was obvious in a fraying defensive line as the Warriors began to rule the collisions in a welcome departure from some recent lacklustre forward performances.
Manly coach Trent Barrett said Koroisau's injury "doesn't look great".
There is a fear the classy hooker has broken a bone in his foot, with Barrett also suggesting it could be damage to the lisfranc ligament, which would require a lengthy rehabilitation.
"Losing Api was a big blow for us," Barrett said.
"He's one of our best players obviously, not only from an attacking point of view but defensively with his line speed."
It took a storming 50m kick return from Maumalo to spark his side's first try, with Isaiah Papali'i put across the stripe by Blake Green later in the set.
The former Manly five-eighth was at again it soon after, sending Tohu Harris over to put the Warriors 12-8 up at the break.
The second half was the Johnson-Fusitu'a show down the Warriors' lethal right edge as a tired-looking Manly offered little resistance.
A Fusitu'a bust set up a 43rd minute try for his halfback, whose speed to finish suggested he has overcome the ankle problem that sidelined him for three weeks - a period in which the Warriors managed just five tries.
But they claimed six all up during Saturday's freezing South Island evening, with Fusitu'a the three-time beneficiary of his team's late control and Johnson's range of skills.
Coach Stephen Kearney said his players benefited from last week's bye and were determined to be less restricted with the ball.
"That's when we play our best footy," he said.
"I thought the boys in the middle did a pretty good job creating some momentum against a big, physical pack.
"And we had something to play for with Shaun's 150th game. It was a big occasion for him."