Three things we learned from the Warriors' impressive 40-6 win over the Bulldogs on Saturday evening at Mt Smart.

1. Maumalo is on the march

Ken Maumalo's star continues to rise. Saturday's match was his 65th NRL appearance, and surely one of his best.

Maumalo rocked the Bulldogs all day, right from the second hit-up of the match, when he slammed into three defenders with stunning force.

He ran for a team high 241 metres from 25 carries, giving the Warriors invaluable momentum from the start of each set.


He also showed safe hands to force Blake Green's crossfield kick for the first try, and was safe under the high ball, despite being regularly tested by Lachlan Lewis.

Last season Maumalo was overshadowed by the freakish try scoring deeds of David Fusitu'a, and has struggled with the constant comparisons with Manu Vatuvei, who was a fixture on the Warriors' left flank for more than a decade.

But his time is coming.

2. Pre-season pays off

We've heard for the last month how much fitter and stronger the Warriors are as a result of another pre-season of heavy conditioning under Alex Corvo, and the initial signs look good.

The forward pack was a highly effective unit in the 40-6 win over the Bulldogs, with Bunty Afoa and Agnatius Paasi laying the platform from the start, and Leeson Ah Mau and Sam Lisone impressing from the bench.

Lisone's physique has been transformed since last season, while Afoa also looks bigger and heavier.

Five members of the Warriors pack topped 100 running metres, with Afoa and Tohu Harris leading the way in yardage.

3. Long way back for the Bulldogs

It's only round one, but those pre-season predictions of doom and gloom around Belmore seem to be on the money.


Aside from the first 10 minutes, the Canterbury team weren't at the races on Saturday.

They were outmuscled physically, lacking commitment and structure on defence and struggled to make the most of their rare opportunities in attack.

They have got plenty of capable individuals, albeit not over endowed with experience, but don't look like a unified team.

The advantages that come with being a Sydney-based side, especially in travel, will help their cause, but they already look like a club that will finish closer to the bottom four than the finals.