Manly Warringah Sea Eagles fell short in their trial loss to the Sydney Roosters on Saturday night, but an opening burst which featured three tries in 10 minutes was enough to suggest backline cohesion is well advanced heading into the first round of the Telstra Premiership.
Manly were in control until the 50th minute of the match in Gosford before James Tedesco put on a show with a chip-and-chase try which put the Chooks in front for the first time.
Coach Trent Barrett he was impressed with his backline's first hit-out together, but added work needs to be done before their round-one clash against the Newcastle Knights.
"It thought Crokes [Lachlan Croker], Cherry [Daly Cherry-Evans], Tom [Trbojevic] and Api [Koroisau] were particularly good. Particularly at the start, it's not always easy when you do get a lot of good ball that early in games and it's the first time they played together," he said.
"We got what we wanted out of it. A few individuals [were] in there getting a chance, and did particularly well. I thought our attack looked really good, still some things to work on there.
"Probably disappointed with our last plays defensively, conceding three tries there off kicks. They were ugly, but they're still worth four points. That's an area we need to address before round one, but all in all, we didn't get any injuries, pretty happy with how things went."
Croker seemed to be right at home in the No.6 jersey, with some neat attacking grubber kicks and strong link play with prop Martin Taupau. The youngster also showed a bit of toughness taking a hit from Zane Tetevano.
Although Croker did a majority of the kicking on Saturday night, Barrett said pressure will not only be put on his shoulders.
"We don't have a main person. We've got two halves, we've got a hooker who can kick and Tom [Trbojevic] also work on his kicking as well. I'd like to think we don't solely rely on one player, there is 17 in the side and all have a role to play."
Jorge Taufua returned for his first game in eight months after an ACL injury and was noticeably limping on his right leg in the second half.
"He's okay, he's just nervous. He's come off a knee reconstruction and he's a worry wart Jorge, but he got a lot of confidence out of getting through the game."