The NZ Warriors have engineered one of the great NRL turnarounds, stunning the Manly Sea Eagles 24-16 in their most inspired performance of an erratic season.
Everything pointed to a Sea Eagles win in Auckland on Friday but the visitors' run of hot form was extinguished in cold wet conditions, forced into a litany of mistakes by a Warriors side out to restore pride.
A week after their 46-12 trouncing from Canberra at Mt Smart Stadium, the Warriors defended with desperation and were sharp enough to create three first-half tries, including a Ken Maumalo double.
Down 18-0, Manly surged with a late comeback, scoring three tries between the 68th and 75th minutes. Reuben Garrick crossed twice as the Warriors scrambled without Adam Blair, who was controversially sent to the sin bin.
Warriors hooker Jazz Tevaga brought relief to a small crowd of 9595, sealing victory with a burrowing try.
It was an eighth win of the season to keep the Kiwi club's slim final football hopes of finals football while Manly suffered just their second loss in eight games to dent their chances of a top-four finish.
Maumalo, who claimed the competition lead for tries with 16, was set up on both occasions by deft touches from five-eighth Chanel Harris-Tavita, who was the game's outstanding player.
The rookie five-eighth unfurled a classy all-round display that belied his first-grade inexperience.
He kicked cleverly, took smart options and was a punishing force on defence, including one memorable spot tackle on Tom Trbojevic.
Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck also produced a moment of magic for the Warriors, delivering a no-look flick to Ligi Sao, who scored his first try in four seasons for the club.