A busted and bruised Manly Sea Eagles side travelled to Newcastle to face the Knights who were looking to find their form once again after a few inconsistent performances.
In just the fourth minute, it was Manly who took the lead after spectacular work from Brad Parker and Cade Cust.
First of all, Parker tapped the ball back into play on the sideline after a high-bomb from Daly Cherry-Evans and landed in the hands of Cust.
The half-back then kicked ahead and chased his own kick to score.
Five minutes later, Cherry-Evans picked up a second for the Sea Eagles.
Taniela Paseka broke through the Knights defence after a short ball from Jake Trbojevic and with just Kalyn Ponga to beat, passed the ball to the half-back in support who raced away 20-metres to score.
After a slow start, the Knights had a chance in the 15th minute as Ponga took the ball to the line and looked to whip a pass over to Starford To’a.
Unfortunately, To’a ran too far and the ball went behind the winger.
Around the 20 minute mark, Manly lost Brendan Elliot to a knee injury.
That seemed to affect them in defence as the Knights attacked down the left-edge and this time, the Ponga-To’a link worked as the winger claimed the ball and beat Moses Suli and Garrick to the line.
Daniel Saifiti was the next to pick up a knee injury, as the Knights dropped to just 15 fit players with 55 minutes still to play.
The Knights were soon level too as Kurt Mann took advantage of the Sea Eagles stepping too far off the try-line and cut back inside Lachlan Croke and underneath the tackle of Haumole Olakau’atu to score.
Ponga converted to make it 12 apiece.
With just 90 seconds left of the half, it looked as though the home side had taken the lead.
Pearce kicked into the corner of To’a who managed to tap the ball back inside which was gathered by Lachlan Fitzgibbon.
The second-rower then managed to offload back outside to Enari Tuala who dived over in the corner.
HALF-TIME: Newcastle Knights 16-12 Manly Sea Eagles
The Knights were the first to score in the second half as Pearce’s crossfield kick was contested by jack Gosiewski and Gehamat Shibasaki.
The ball came loose for Aiden Guerra to pick up and pass to Hymel Hunt for his first try of the game.
The Sea Eagles hit back just minutes later as they Eagles shifted the ball to the left-hand edge, and Cherry-Evans dropped the ball onto his foot for Gosiewki to chase and dive on to score.
They took the lead with 23 minutes to go as Lachlan Croker was the recipient of an offload from Paseka and burrowed beneath the Knights line and score under the posts.
The next 15 minutes were all Newcastle and the Sea Eagles conceded multiple penalties and mistakes,
With 5 minutes to go, The Knights pushed the ball left through Kalyn Ponga who’s cut-out pass to Tuala was weighted perfectly for the centre to run onto and slide in to level up.
Ponga converted to give Newcastle a 26-24 with the Sea Eagles having to come from behind.
The Short kick-off from Garrick went over the touchline on the full, but Manly just couldn’t muster a chance to win the game.
FULL-TIME: Newcastle Knights 26-24 Manly Sea Eagles
Ponga, To’a, Tuala, Shibasaki, Hunt, Green, Pearce, Klemmer, Mann, D. Saifiti, Fitzgibbon, Guerra, Barnett
Interchanges: Crossland, J. Saifiti, Ese’ese, King
Tries: To’a, Mann, Tuala (2), Hunt
Goals: Ponga (3/5)
Manly Sea Eagles
Elliot, Garrick, Parker, Duli, Funa, Cust, Cherry-Evans, Paseka, Levi, Trbojevic, Thompson, Sironen, Waddell
Interchanges: Croker, Keppie, Olakau’atu, Gosiewski
Tries: Cust, Cherry-Evans, Gosiewski, Croker
Goals: Garrick (4/4)
Referee: A. Klein
Touch Judges: Z. Przeklasa-Adamski, L. Kennedy
Video Referee: B. Galea
Image Source: @NRL (twitter)