It was scrappy, ugly and they probably didn’t deserve to win, but the Sea Eagles have come from behind to claim a memorable victory over Newcastle at Brookvale Oval on Monday night.
After clawing their way back from 10 points down late in the match, star halfback Daly Cherry-Evans produced one of the sweetest field goals to snatch a thrilling one-point victory on the buzzer to sink Newcastle's hearts.
Renowned for their red-hot starts this season, the Sea Eagles uncharacteristically coughed up a large amount of possession to gift their opposition quality field position.
Forced to defend their own line for the majority of the opening 20 minutes, the Sea Eagles defensive line finally gave way to a powerful Akuila Uate on the quarter hour mark.
The Newcastle winger took advantage of a quick play the ball as he snuck down the short side to catch the Manly edge defence off guard. Uate simply using his large build to muscle his way over and score the only try of the half.
Having lost their past 10 matches when held scoreless at half time, history was well and truly against the Sea Eagles.
The home side weren’t helping their cause when they began the second half, completing just one of seven sets to have the Knights camped in their own half.
The pressure mounted and it appeared as though the Knights were rewarded when a simple kick into the in-goal saw winger David Williams cough up possession for Newcastle’s Robbie Rochow to get a hand to the ball and score.
Despite seeing the red light after the on-field referee called a no try, the Knights were able to find the line from the ensuing set courtesy of Uate second.
The home side finally managed to get themselves on the board through winger Jorge Taufua, however their celebrations were short-lived as Dane Gagai ran 70 metre after a one-on-one strip on Steve Matai to extend Newcastle’s lead to 10 points.
The Knights were awarded a penalty soon after, but their decision to kick for goal proved match defining as the Sea Eagles went up field and scored back to back tries through Taufua and Matt Ballin to level scores at 14-all.
After several field goal attempts from both sides, it came down to the last play of the game for Cherry-Evans to slot a field goal from 30 metres out and 20 metres in from touch to snatch victory.