Tigers 36 Sea Eagles 22
In-demand halves Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses sent their market values up another cog and put rivals clubs on red alert, shredding a winless Manly as the Tigers preserved their unbeaten start to the season.
Jason Taylor's Generation Next proved the future might very well be here and now as his off-contract conductors, having slowed negotiations before an expected final decision mid-year on their 2017 homes, steered a sometimes nervy Tigers to a welcome home win.
Having threatened to butcher a huge half-time buffer against the Warriors in the opening round, the Tigers surrendered an early 14-point lead before steadying to sink a slightly improved Manly 36-22 at Leichhardt Oval.
The tale of two coaches has taken differing fortunes in the opening fortnight; Taylor's troubled tenure looking a little more secure as Trent Barrett's introduction to the NRL coaching furnace shows no signs of cooling.
But it is perhaps the Tigers' former premiership hero Mark O'Neill, the joint venture's new general manager, who is the man most under pressure as he ponders how to secure Brooks and Moses on new deals.
The salary cap squeeze won't be any easier though as Brooks, who wore James Bond's "007" on his back against Manly while having a hand in all six Tigers tries, and Moses were at their scheming best.
The duo's display was somewhat tempered with the early withdrawal of fellow fresh-faced twenty-something Curtis Sironen, who limped from the field with a hamstring injury after just 10 minutes.
Manly's left-edge defence copped a particular working over with Souths recruit Dylan Walker and Steve Matai powerless to stop a rampant Tigers, who will fancy themselves to remain flawless through three rounds with a trip to the Gold Coast on Saturday night.
Despite peeling off three tries in the space of 10 minutes either side of half-time to level the scores, Barrett's new-look Manly displayed teething for a second straight week.
The rivalry between the clubs might not quite be a throwback to the Silvertails and Fibros days, but if recent history has been any guide the modern day scoreboard has been anything but kind to the traditional battlers. Of their last six meetings the Tigers had lost five.
Someone forgot to tell this batch of Tigers cubs. At least it wasn't part of Jason Taylor's mid-week address.
After Jamie Lyon slotted a penalty goal to open the scoring for the visitors, it turned out to be the Brooks and Moses show as they blasted to a 16-2 lead.
Game over? This is the Jekyll and Hyde Tigers after all. And maybe Manly's new boys sensed it.
Penrith recruit Lewis Brown wrestled four defenders over the line from an innocuous dummy-half play to reduce the margin before Souths' premiership winner Walker tormented Moses to scamper through a feeble effort.