Playing his embattled former team for the first time, Rabbitohs back-rower Glenn Stewart said he didn't feel sorry for the cellar-dwelling Sea Eagles following Souths' 20-8 victory on Friday night.
Not offered a contract by the Sea Eagles last year – a team he won multiple grand finals with and represented Australia in his time there – Stewart said he felt nothing towards Manly, who will remain on the bottom of the ladder again for at least the next week.
Playing his brother, and stand-in Manly captain Brett, Stewart admitted the oddness of playing "most" of his mates – keeping in mind his personal feud with Sea Eagles halfback Daly Cherry-Evans.
"It was pretty weird playing against the lot of them because they're all mates of mine... most of them," Stewart said.
"But at the end of the day the Souths' boys are my brothers here now and I have to do my best for them and that's the end of the story.
"[I don't feel sorry for them], it's the nature of the NRL isn't it?"
Quizzed by NRL.com about whether getting through injury-free or beating the Sea Eagles was more satisfying, Stewart said remaining fit was his priority.
Maintaining he would've played this weekend regardless of his opponent, having nursed a thumb injury for the past 10 weeks, Stewart said he was happy with his performance – where he produced 30 tackles and 64 metres.
"It was right on schedule, the rehab team and the physio worked really hard. I would've played regardless [of the opposition]. It's funny how it works that it ended up being Manly," Stewart said.
"I've had enough time off the past few years so it was good to be back playing. I felt pretty good out there, the lungs are feeling pretty good too.
"My defence was good, I was a bit rusty in attack – dropped a few balls and have to fix up a couple of penalties – but other than that I feel like I went alright."
With his thumb injury not preventing him from preserving his fitness, Stewart was hopeful his time spent on the sideline will be beneficial come the backend of the year.
"Personally my body is feeling really good. The injury I had was the ligament in my thumb so that was more annoying than anything," Stewart said. "The few surgeries I had the last couple of years were more knees and ankles so it was a long way back from those but with this one I was able to keep fit."