Two former Penrith Panthers' assistant coaches are set to go toe-to-toe at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday afternoon as they both look to extend their winning starts to the season.

While Cameron Ciraldo's Bulldogs outfit had some pre-existing fanfare courtesy of a stellar recruitment drive, Andrew Webster's Warriors were tipped by many to finish in the bottom four - or worse.

Now, after three rounds, both teams stand tall with 2-1 winning records, and sat in the top eight to start the round.

The Bulldogs lost their season opener to the Sea Eagles 31-6, while the Warriors lost their second match of the season, a tight 20-12 defeat at the hands of the Sydney Roosters.

Neither were too eager to get into a war of words, instead complimenting one another on their hot starts to the season.

"He's obviously doing a really good job (at the Bulldogs)," Webster told AAP.

"He's got them going really well. They're full of energy and excitement, so really happy for him and the way the Dogs are going.

"We know we're going to have to be ready and you can see how fundamentally good they are at the moment."

Cameron Ciraldo took a different approach, instead complimenting their recruitment.

"I think Te Maire Martin is a really classy player and they're a much-improved team. They'll be excited to get back to Mt Smart. It's a big game for us," Ciraldo said.

It's rare to see two coaches so friendly just days out from playing one another, however it's an even rarer circumstance for Ivan Cleary, who'll get to see his two proteges face off.

"I will be sitting back enjoying that game," Cleary told AAP.

"As an old Warrior, I can't wait to see them back at Mount Smart. The fact that there's a lot of optimism over there at the moment that's going to be awesome."

It isn't a first for Cleary, watching a right-hand man leave for their own starring role. Unfortunately, Trent Barrett's tenure at Canterbury didn't end the way he would've anticipated.

PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 17: Panthers coach Ivan Cleary speaks to the media after the round 10 NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the New Zealand Warriors at Panthers Stadium on May 17, 2019 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

While the two are both understudies of Cleary, Webster is still an understudy of Ciraldo to an extent, with the now-Canterbury coach interim coaching the Panthers in 2018 after Anthony Griffin was hooked.

"I remember watching and learning a lot from Cameron, watching the way he operated at Penrith," Webster said.

"He's very thorough, he really knows how to get the players to buy into his message. He's all about the fundamentals and getting those things right."