Does it get any better than this?
Only the most optimistic of Storm fan would have believed their side could dig their way out of the hole they found themselves in back in Round 1, 2014.
Cooper Cronk did not make the trip to Manly for the season opener in what also doubled up as the night Cameron Smith equaled Matt Geyer’s record for 262 Storm games.
With 14,200 fans packing the hills, the atmosphere was electric at Brookvale Oval and they did not have to wait long for the home side to send them into raptures.
The Sea Eagles put together a swift left edge move that sent Steve Matai through in just the fourth minute.
Future Storm player Cheyse Blair added another soon after before Brett Stewart put through a grubber kick to Justin Horo as the Manly attack reached full flight.
After 25 minutes Storm finally found their hands on the football and with a short right-edge move nearly scored, only for Sisa Waqa to come up short.
Manly were not in a forgiving mood and heaped further misery on the visitors moments later when Matai added his second as the Sea Eagles brought up a 20-nil lead before the half hour mark.
Just as hope seemed to be diminishing, Storm finally hit the scoreboard courtesy of a Cameron Smith highball angled in the direction of Waqa, who caught and grounded in the one motion.
Manly lead 20-4 at half-time but were dealt a blow at the break when Stewart, a dominant player in the first half, was forced to sit out the remainder of the game with a hamstring injury.