The master has outshone the apprentice - for now.
Craig Bellamy's Melbourne Storm proved too clinical for Stephen Kearney's Warriors outfit in the torrential Auckland rain on Friday, running in 26-10 victors.
The victory marks Bellamy's third win over his former Storm assistant in four attempts, having thrice come face to face during Kearney's stint at Parramatta.
Bellamy told reporters the atrocious conditions turned the match into a grind, with both sides' game plans washed away.
But he felt certain the World Cup-winning Kiwis coach would help the Warriors fulfil their potential in the coming months.
"I'm sure they had some plans in place, and the same for us, that you just really couldn't execute tonight," Bellamy said.
"They'll be on the right track this year - he's a quality coach, he was a quality player and he's a quality person.
"It was a bit of a grit-your-teeth-and-hang-on, (and) I think we were both quite similar tonight as that was all you could basically do."
For his part, Kearney played a straight bat to comparisons with Bellamy or the Storm style, saying his Warriors project was still in its embryonic stages.
The Storm's pace around the ruck, proficiency in the tackle and ruthless attacking streak were all 15 years in the making.
Ditto for the club's famed culture of excellence.
"We're on a journey where, in terms of a finished product, Melbourne have been that way for quite some time," Kearney said.
"We were pretty good, competed with them well but let a couple areas get away from us and they certainly take advantage when that happens."