The bottom placed Knights are desperately searching for their second win of the season, however they face a difficult challenge against a Manly side who are finally finding form after a disappointing 2016.
Last Time Out
The Sea Eagles recorded their third straight victory on Monday night against the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Manly were clinical in the first half, going into the break with an 18-0 lead. Young gun Tom Trbojevic once again starred in the fullback role, running for 196 metres, scoring a try and making an impressive line break. Manly failed to score any more tries in the second half, and Sea Eagles fans would have been worried as the Rabbitohs scored back to back tries to make the score 18-12 with half an hour remaining, however Manly were able to hold on for a 20-12 victory.
The Knights were faced with the impossible task of taking on the first placed Sharks, who extended their winning streak to 15 in a row. Considering they were on the end of a 62-0 flogging by Cronulla in Round 10, the Knights can be proud of keeping the score to just 36-4, especially considering the likes of Sione Mata’utia, Robbie Rochow and Jake Mamo were missing from the side.
In 2014 these two were the opposing halfbacks in State of Origin game 2, however just 2 years down the track, representative honours seem far stretched for both Trent Hodkinson and Daly Cherry-Evans. Hodkinson is languishing in a side that has won just one game all season and has become accustomed to defeat , while DCE has had a poor 2016 after controversially back flipping on his contract with the Titans. However, Cherry-Evans is finally beginning to find form, coinciding with the Sea Eagles going on a winning run as of late. If the Knights are to be competitive in any more games this season they need Hodkinson to stand up, and show the form that lead to him breaking Queensland’s incredible State of Origin streak.
The Knights have shown far more spirit as of late, however unfortunately they are lacking far too much class, experience and depth in their side to be competitive in 2016. The Sea Eagles are on a late resurgence and they should be far too strong to drop this game.
Manly by 14