A gallant Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a 26-24 loss to the Newcastle Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium today in round 14 of the Telstra Premiership.
In front of a crowd of 5,554, the Sea Eagles got off to a superb start through a freakish play by five-eighth Cade Cust after centre Brad Parker knocked the ball back from a Daly Cherry-Evans bomb for Cust to then kick ahead to score. Winger Reuben Garrick converted from the sideline for a 6-0 lead after four minutes.
Match Highlights: Knights v Sea Eagles
Five minutes later, Manly went to a 12-0 lead when Garrick converted a try to half-back Daly Cherry-Evans from in front of the posts after good lead up work by Trbojevic and Taniela Paseka.
The Knights hit back in the 20th minute when winger Starford To’a crashed past Garrick to score in the corner. Full-back Kalyn Ponga converted from the sideline for a 12-6 scoreline.
Newcastle hooker Kurt Mann then caught the Sea Eagles napping on their line to dart over from dummy half. Ponga converted for a 12-all scoreline after 30 minutes.
The Knights took a 16-12 lead into half-time when centre Enari Tuala dived over in the 38th minute after the ball was kept in play from a crossfield kick.
The bunker then overruled a no try decision to award Newcastle winger Hymel Hunt a try off a crossfield kick in the 45th minute for a 20-12 lead.
A grubber kick by Cherry-Evans saw Manly back-rower Jack Gosiewski dive on the ball to score in the 51st minute. Garrick converted from out wide to leave the Sea Eagles trailing 20-18.
The bunker then overruled a no try to Manly after confirming Lachlan Croker managed to ground the ball with his arm next to the posts from a Paseka offload in the 55th minute. Garrick converted to give the Sea Eagles a 24-20 lead.
The Sea Eagles were then forced to dig deep in defence inside their quarter for an extended period of time before the Knights were denied a try in the 71st minute after it was ruled To'a dropped the ball over the line.
Two minutes later, Tuala stretched out with his right hand to score near the posts. Ponga converted to give the Knights a 26-24 lead.
The loss was Manly's third in a row and leaves them outside the top eight.
The Sea Eagles now play South Sydney at ANZ Stadium next Saturday night.