Manly continue to struggle in loss to the Knights

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Newcastle Knighs 18 defeat Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 12.

Game Review.
A highly anticipated game despite the ladder position of both teams. The Knights without star signing Mitchell Pearce were out to prove they're still a top 8 team despite the loss of their halfback, while the Sea Eagles were looking to turn their form around after back to back floggings.

It was a serious war for the first 15 minutes of the game with both teams trading blows back and forth indicating to us fans that both sides were here to play. After a horrid 2 week period for Manly, they were up for the challenge from the get go tonight, and the Knights were there to match them. Finally after a real hard fought first quarter of the game, the Knights went over through halfback Connor Watson who powered his way over the line to grab himself a 4 pointer in his return game from injury. It didn't take long for Manly to strike back though, when only a few sets later Manly went on the attack and grabbed their opening try of the game through centre Dylan Walker off a beautiful chip in goal by Api Koroisau. The final 15 minutes was spent in a headlock battle just like the opening 15 minutes, however with both teams passing up on many opportunities from errors, the score remained 6-4 going into the half time break. The Knights were able to hold strong with 12 men after Daniel Saifiti was sin binned for a professional foul.

The second half started brilliantly for the Sea Eagles who were able to grab a try in the opening 2 minutes of the half through big boy Shaun Lane to extend their lead to a converted try. A much needed try as Manly are forced to spend the remainder of the game with just 15 players due to injuries to half Lachlan Croker and Matt Wright. With the lead and all momentum, Manly were starting to get on a roll, however with roughly 20 minutes remaining the Knights were able to tie it up with a dummy half dive over the line from Slade Griffin to give us an exciting final 20 minutes. With 14 minutes remaining, a penalty goal by Knights winger Ken Sio gave Newcastle the lead and all momentum, however only 3 minutes later Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans levelled the scores once again with a penalty goal of his own.

We were in for a massive and intense final 10 minutes, and it didn't fail to disappoint! The deadlock was finally broke when Kalyn Ponga made a superb short ball pass for centre Nathan Ross to go over in the 76th minute and give the Knights the lead in the dying minutes. Manly gave it their all to try and level the game, but the defensive hustle from the Knights was to much, as they were able to take home the 2 competition points back to Newcastle. With only 5 wins in the entirety of 2017, it's only taken the Newcastle Knights 8 games in 2018 to equal that.

Stonecold's Player Of The Game: Kalyn Ponga (Knights)

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles:
25' Dylan Walker (Try)
26' Daly Cherry-Evans (Conversion)
42' Shaun Lane (Try)
69' Daly Cherry-Evans (Penalty Goal)

Newcastle Knights:
16' Connor Watson (Try)
59' Slade Griffin (Try)
60' Ken Sio (Conversion)
66' Ken Sio (Penalty Goal)
76' Nathan Ross (Try)
77' Ken Sio (Conversion)



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