Manly Warringah Sea Eagles recorded their fourth consecutive win with a 36-16 victory over Newcastle Knights at Brookvale Oval today.
In front of a crowd of 11,222, the Sea Eagles turned it on from the outset, leading 26-0 at half-time, much to the delight of the Manly faithful and the former Golden Eagles players who enjoyed a lap of honour prior to the match.
The win moves the Sea Eagles to 11th position on 20 competition points. Four teams – Gold Coast (seventh, play Cronulla on Monday night), Warriors (8th), Penrith (9th) and Wests Tigers (10th) – sit on 22 points.
For the Knights, the loss equalled a club record 13 losses in a row.
Manly wore their URM Community jersey in recognition of the 20 year partnership with proud sponsor, URM.
The Sea Eagles lost captain and five-eighth Jamie Lyon (calf) and prop Nate Myles (knee) for the match, replaced by the return of Dylan Walker from a hand injury, and Addin Fonua-Blake, who backed up from last Wednesday night’s Intrust win.
Manly winger Jorge Taufua opened the scoring in the fourth minute when he dived over in the corner to score his eighth try in his past five matches against the Knights.
A crossfield run by full-back Tom Trbojevic saw him put centre Brayden Wiliame over for a try for an 8-0 lead in the 11th minute. It became 14-0 when Walker converted a try by second-rower Jamie Buhrer six minutes later.
A grubber kick behind the line by Daly Cherry-Evans saw Wiliame ground the ball to score his second try in the 35th minute. Walker converted the try for a 20-0 lead.
A break by Tom Trbojevic saw him offload to Cherry-Evans who despite being unmarked, passed the ball to prop Josh Starling to score under the posts in the 38th minute. Walker converted to give Manly a 26-0 lead at half-time.
The Sea Eagles went to a 30-0 lead when Walker dived over from dummy half before winger Matthew Wright crossed for his first try since joining Manly earlier in the season. Walker converted the try for a 36-0 lead after 50 minutes.
Two minutes later, Taufua was denied his second try when he lost control of the ball trying to score.
The Knights got on the board when centre Peter Mata’utia scored a converted try from a grubber kick in the 55th minute before the visitors had a try disallowed to full-back Jake Mamo in the 73rd minute.
Newcastle then scored a converted try under the posts through second-rower David Bhana for a 36-12 scoreline after 77 minutes. The Knights crossed for a try after the full-time siren to winger Brendan Elliot to make it 36-16.
The Sea Eagles play Parramatta Eels at Pirtek Stadium next Friday night.