Coach Des Hasler has praised by Tom Trbojevic's scintillating return to the NRL, with the fullback kick-starting Manly's season via a 46-12 dismantling of the Warriors in Christchurch.
In his first appearance since shaking off a pre-season hamstring injury, Trbojevic bagged two tries on Saturday and set up two more for Daly Cherry-Evans to hand the Sea Eagles an emphatic first win in Hasler's second coming as coach.
The Warriors couldn't respond to the occasion in the first major sporting event in Christchurch since the mosque mass shootings, succumbing to a second-successive heavy loss.
They lacked attacking spark and were unable to contain NSW State of Origin star Trbojovic, who made nine tackle breaks, three line breaks and had heavy involvement in five of the eight Sea Eagles' tries.
Trbojevic's return helped to spark a return to form for halfback Cherry-Evans, who bagged two tries and landed seven goals in a 22-point haul.
A whimsical Hasler couldn't hide his delight that his match-winning fullback had hit the ground running.
"He's a bit ordinary, isn't he? No, he played really well, really strong. It's not just the play of his. It's the confidence he brings to players around him."
The result left both teams with a win and two losses but seemingly heading in different directions.
The Warriors face serious question marks over their defence, having conceded 80 points in two games after melting against the Wests Tigers.
Coach Stephen Kearney said his players had wanted to turn on a strong performance for Christchurch, which made the nature of the defeat hard to take.
"I can guarantee you that they'd be disappointed. There's no doubt about it - to put up an effort like that," he said.
"I thought given the situation on the back of last week and obviously the circumstance of the game ... I was very disappointed with the effort."
Manly's attacking rhythm was built on the dominant work of New Zealand props Martin Taupau and Addin Fonua-Blake, capping a week in which the Sydney club endeared itself to the grieving city by engaging with the community.
Trbojevic was partly to blame for the Warriors' opening try, palming a grubber kick into the path of the chasing Isaiah Papali'i.
However, the 22-year-old sparked three Manly tries in seven minutes, scoring himself and busting clear to set up Cherry-Evans' first.
The No.7 turned provider with a grubber kick for Joel Thompson.
Issac Luke stopped the rot with a close-range Warriors try but Manase Fainu put the Sea Eagles 24-12 up at halftime with a stepping try from dummy-half.
After absorbing Warriors pressure throughout the third quarter, Trbojevic and Cherry-Evans completed their doubles before wingers Jorge Taufua and Reuben Garrick rounded out the scoring against a dishevelled defence.