MANLY fullback Brett Stewart has declared himself ready for State of Origin this year after yesterday scoring his 31st try in 31 matches at Brookvale Oval. Stewart scored a crucial try in his side's 13-10 win over New Zealand Warriors- a victory which keeps Manly on top of the NRL Premiership. The New South Wales fullback spot remains open with Sydney Roosters' Anthony Minichiello yet to recapture his best form since returning this year from a back injury. Stewart scored 21 tries last season and has already notched three this year in four games. "I think I could handle it," said Stewart. "State of Origin has always been a goal of mine, like it is with all kids. "I'm thinking first about playing for Country against City. "But I think I'd be up for Origin football." Manly coach Des Hasler agreed that Stewart was a star performer yesterday. "He was certainly a handful," Hasler said. Manly legend Steve Menzies called on selectors to consider picking Stewart, who has added 3kg yet managed to retain his blistering speed. "Brett is up to State of Origin level," Menzies said. "I thought he matured a lot toward the end of last year. He has added a few elements to his game and he's playing some great football." It was tough, grinding game yesterday, with both sides scoring two tries but Manly performing better throughout the second half. Sadly, though, Brookvale Oval continues to struggle with big crowds - fans were still queuing 25 minutes after kick-off. The famous Northern Beaches ground desperately requires some improvement. On the field the Warriors soaked up an enormous amount of pressure in the first half, making 183 tackles. It was a gusty effort from the Kiwis, who had little left in reserve when in possession. The victory was Manly's third straight without its injured stars Menzies, Matt Orford and Steve Matai. In its four games this year Manly has conceded just 32 points - the best defensive effort in the competition. "It's about commitment to your teammates and attitude," said Manly prop Jason King. "Defence in the off season was a real focal point for us. We are setting ourselves defensive goals before each game and we are working hard to achieve them. "An average of eight points a game is a great effort considering the quality attacking sides in the competition." More than 16,000 fans attended yesterday's match at historic Brookvale but sadly the ground's old charm was ruined by an over-zealous ground announcer. "They had a lot of ball in the first half and they didn't give us much of a look in," said Warriors coach Ivan Cleary. "We didn't get too many opportunities until the last 10 minutes and then we were a bit rushed. "Manly was very professional and controlled. They completed a huge amount of sets, particularly for this time of the season." The win sets up a bumper match next Saturday night between Manly and the Bulldogs at Homebush. Manly's win yesterday came after they had four tries disallowed - although it appeared that each decision was correct. "We just weren't able to get a try there for a while," said Manly skipper Brent Kite. "But we weren't about to lose heart. We just wanted to keep doing what we were doing."