If there were any doubts as to Manly's status as a top four team, they dispelled them tonight with a classy come-from-behind 26-22 win over the Warriors at a wet and slippery nib Stadium in Perth.
Manly's solid performance in this one was bookended by an electric start and spirited finish from the Warriors - who blitzed the Eagles early, racing the clock to a 16-0 lead through some rolling attack and taking advantage of woeful Manly defence.
The Warriors' tries - to Bodene Thompson, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck had the away side well and truly on the front foot, but for reasons unknown they took their foot off the gas and Manly responded with three of their own between the 20th minute and the halftime break to level the scores at 16-all going into halftime.
Seven minutes after the resumption the Sea Eagles scored through Tom Trbojevic, just moments after Cherry-Evans was denied for an obstruction. Dylan Walker's try in the 60th minute was the Sea Eagles' last scoring play but it gave them a ten-point buffer going into the last 20 which would prove vital.
The Warriors slowly wrestled back control of the contest over that last 20 - Nicoll-Klokstad's second try putting them within reaching distance at 26-22, but try as they might for the fifteen minutes that followed, they couldn't crack Manly's defence.
The win climbs the Eagles into third place on the NRL table after a weekend of big results among the top four, and will head to Pepper Stadium full of confidence ahead of a showdown with the ever-improving Panthers. The Warriors' charge up the table however takes another blow, and while they'll get two points for the bye next week, they'll also need to be on their game when they host the Panthers the following week.