Brett Stewart has made a successful comeback to rugby league in Manly’s 14-12 pre-season trial win over the New Zealand Warriors at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland. The gifted fullback played 20 minutes against the New Zealand side and declared himself on track to play in his side’s round one NRL match against the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park on March 12. Stewart, returning to the game after consecutive season-ending knee injuries, hadn’t played since the first round of the competition in 2010. The 25 year-old said he “couldn’t be happier” with his cameo appearance and was keen to get some more game time under his belt. A try to fringe second rower Vic Mauro eight minutes from time was enough to give his side the win. The Warriors had led for much of the physical encounter but couldn’t quite close out the match. Ahead 6-4 at halftime thanks to a try to second-rower Ben Matulino, the Warriors extended the lead to 12-4 in the 52nd minute when a neat cut-out pass from Feleti Mateo put winger Kevin Locke over in the right corner and James Maloney converted. But with the wind behind them the visitors finished off strongly, taking advantage of a number of errors from their opposition. Michael Oldfield scored a soft try to get Manly in touching distance and when Mauro scored the decisive try after a handling error from Warriors winger Krisnan Inu, the visitors took the lead. Manly’s other points had come from a first-half try to Jamie Buhrer. A large crowd of 15,000 watched the match and contributed towards the Christchurch earthquake appeal.