THEY are the masters of overcoming adversity. The team that refuses to buckle under pressure or digest distressing headlines. Yet again last night, Manly clinically stared down a week of troubles to emerge victorious.
The doping scandal hit Brookvale last week, many thinking it would distract the club's chances of victory last night.
But Manly came out roaring to hammer Newcastle 32-0 in a six-try romp. The harder the times, the harder Manly are to beat.
After the game, Manly skipper Jamie Lyon played down his side's tough mental ability. "We just do our job," Lyon said. "That's all we worry about."
Some had written off Manly for this year, believing their core of players were ageing and slowing. Based on the opening two rounds though, it appears certain Manly will be back again in September to contest the club's ninth successive finals series.
Love them or hate them, you cannot but admire Manly.
"They have been a top club for five or six years. They know how to get the job done," said Knights coach Wayne Bennett. "We are learning how to get the job done. It's in their pedigree."
Newcastle fumbled and bumbled their way through last night, self-destructing in a horrible first half. The Knights did though lose centre Dane Gagai (ankle) and forward Willie Mason (calf) to injury in the opening 40 minutes.
Nothing though was going to stop Manly, who looked strong and competent. Playing down his team's performance, Manly coach Geoff Toovey said: "I thought our execution was a bit sloppy at times but our defence was pretty good."
Lyon added: "It wasn't the best game to watch but we were happy with the 'zero'. It was a big effort."
A stunning 60m solo try by star forward Anthony Watmough was a match highlight.
Watmough was seemingly cornered by Newcastle's Darius Boyd and Akuila Uate but snuck through a hole to send the Brookvale crowd into raptures.
There seems little doubt Watmough - who played with painkilling injections due to an ongoing rib injury - will again stroll into the NSW State of Origin side this season.
Manly winger Jorge Taufua enjoyed a memorable night, scoring three tries while prop Brent Kite was also strong.
Manly killed off the game in the 71st minute when fullback Brett Stewart touched down after following through a Lyon kick. Stewart well and truly remains the Prince of Brookvale.
"It was frustrating - they defended well," said Newcastle skipper Kurt Gidley.
"We didn't help ourselves. At 10-0 (half-time score) I was still feeling positive. When 'Choc' (Watmough) went through, that was the killer blow."