Manly Sea Eagles have made an impressive statement in only their second game of the NRL season with hard fought victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The Rabbitohs opened their season last week with a resounding win against reigning premiers Sydney Roosters, but the Sea Eagles have now joined the mix after beating Sam Burgess and Co without the Stewart brothers.
True champion teams win games that seem almost impossible, and Friday was not the first time that the Sea Eagles have stood up to such a statement.
They are a side that shows willingness and togetherness in abundance, and to perform without full-back Brett Stewart and forward Glenn Stewart takes considerable depth.
Recovering from failure is also the mark of a title contending team, and that is what Manly had to do this week.
In round 1 they held a 22-0 lead against Melbourne before the Storm rallied back and won the game in Golden Point time.
The game was tied with four minutes remaining on the clock, the Sea Eagles were awarded a penalty 30 metres out and right in front of the posts after David Tyrrell held Kieran Foran down in a tackle.
Manly skipper Jamie Lyon converted the penalty goal to give the Sea Eagles a late lead, but South Sydney still had a chance to snatch victory at the death. However, the Manly defence held firm.