Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a frustrating 18-10 loss to the Newcastle Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium today.
Tevita Funa, Sean Keppie, Lachlan Croker and Martin Taupau were placed on report for Manly while Keppie and Taupau were also sin-binned.
The Sea Eagles lost five-eighth Josh Schuster to a calf injury for the NRL Indigenous round match with Funa coming into the starting side to partner half-back Daly Cherry-Evans.
The match also marked the NRL debut for proud Manly junior Ben Trbojevic, who like his established brothers Jake and Tom, came through the Sea Eagles Academy.
Facing a strong breeze against them in the first half on a chilly day, the Sea Eagles were under pressure early with the Knights almost crossing through prop Daniel Saifiti, but he lost the ball in trying to stretch out to score.
The Sea Eagles soaked up the pressure and were first to score in the 12th minute through centre Brad Parker, who finished off a nice break from second-rower Karl Lawton off a lovely pass from half-back Daly Cherry-Evans. Winger Reuben Garrick failed to score for a 4-0 lead.
Manly then went to a 10-0 lead in the 25th minute when Garrick converted a runaway try to winger Jason Saab from a drop ball inside the Sea Eagles quarter.
Five minutes later, Funa was placed on report for a high tackle in chasing through on a kick before prop Sean Keppie was on report and sent to the sin-bin for a high shot on Newcastle half-back Phoenix Crossland.
The Knights quickly capitalised on the extra space when winger Starford Toá dived over in the corner in the 36th minute. Full-back Tex Hoy converted for a 10-6 scoreline.
Newcastle then scored with 14 seconds remaining before half-time with a try under the posts to Sauaso Sue. Hoy converted to give the Knights a 12-10 lead at the break.
The Sea Eagles suffered a blow two minutes after half-time when young prop Zac Saddler left the field with a facial injury.
Manly then had Lachlan Croker and Martin Taupau placed on report with Taupau sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes in the 59th minute.
Tension continued to build as both sides looked to seal the match with the Knights doing that in the 77th minute with a converted try to Saifiti for the 18-10 win.
The Sea Eagles have a bye next weekend and sit in sixth place on the ladder.