IT was one of those performances that would have New South Wales supporters feeling a little bit nervous as the Origin series fast approaches.
Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans was the star in Manly's 54-18 demolition of Canberra in front of 8817 hardy souls at Brookvale Oval.
It was a day for the true believers and those who braved the cool, rainy conditions were treated to a 40-minute attacking masterclass as everything the Eagles touched turned to gold and it was Cherry-Evans who was heavily involved.
The talented halfback could do little wrong in an opening 40 minutes which provided seven tries, five of which he had a direct hand in as the Eagles raced to a 42-4 lead at the break.
Only Raiders winger Reece Robinson's 90-metre effort after a Brett Stewart mistake stemmed the points flow and prevented the Eagles from rewriting the record books for the most amount of points scored in an opening half.
That record remains with Newcastle who blitzed North Queensland in Townsville 48-0 in 2003.
Cherry-Evans told Mark Gasnier and Fox Sports after fulltime it was a game where the home side were lucky everything fell into place especially in the first 40 minutes.
"We did fall away at the end but we played some really good footy for a while there and when it rains it pours."
The win was slightly soured by a knee injury to Jamie Lyon which forced him from the field with about 25 minutes remaining.
Debutante five-eighth Jack Littlejohn provided the perfect foil for Cherry-Evans in the halves with some classy touches including a clever flick pass to his halves partner in the lead-up to Brett Stewart's try just before halftime.
He said coach Geoff Toovey told him to keep it simple.
"I've been nervous since Tuesday when I was told I'd be playing, but it was good to get out there today," he told Lara Pitt.
Canberra coach Ricky Stuart can take heart from the Raiders second-half performance where they outscored the home side 14-12.
Captain Terry Campese said the first half was extremely poor.
"It was embarrassing; we didn't turn up with the right attitude," he said.
Manly winger Peta Hiku also had a day out as he equalled David Williams as players to have scored four tries in a game.
Both sides now have next week off as the competition stops for a weekend to allow the Australia-New Zealand test and City-Country to take centre stage.