Manly's hooker Matt Ballin admits the Sea Eagles didn't handle the Brett Stewart saga well and the players have only themselves to blame for their lowly position on the National Rugby league table.
Ballin says the off-field drama played its part in their atrocious start to their premiership defence but the players have shown they've moved on by beating Parramatta 34-10 at Brookvale Oval.
Their second successive win lifts them to 12th after 10 rounds.
Newcastle's 38-6 rout of the Sydney Roosters lifts them into equal top behind only the Bulldogs who've kept top spot despite being robbed of victory in their 20-18 loss to St George Illawarra.
Brisbane's 32-18 win over the Gold Coast means they join the Dogs, Knights and Dragons on 14 points in a stand alone top four.
South Sydney jumped to fifth after Nathan Merritt's field goal in the final minute gave the Rabbitohs a 23-22 win over the Wests Tigers at the SCG.
Penrith are also on 12 in sixth after edging Cronulla while the Titans drop to seventh after their loss to Brisbane.
North Queensland are ninth with 10 points after upsetting the Warriors 34-12 in Auckland yesterday leaving the hosts 11th on nine points.
Melbourne and Canberra clash at Olympic Park tonight to complete heritage round.