The Sea Eagles continue to climb the ladder after a comfortably defeating the Newcastle Knights 30-6 on Saturday afternoon at Lottoland.
Desperately needing a win to keep pace with the top eight, Newcastle now face a tough task to reach their first finals series in six years.
Newcastle have now won just one of their past seven, and are two points out of the top eight after being firmly in at the halfway point of the season.
Only a few days after their star centre Jesse Ramien was let go from the club in ugly circumstances, Newcastle’s finals hopes almost went up in flames as they continue to struggle post-Origin.
Daly Cherry-Evans was brilliant once again in leading his side to victory, setting up two tries while veteran back rowers Joel Thompson and Curtis Sironen scored one each.
The visitors’ only try of the day was through Ponga, who beat numerous defenders to score one of the tries of the season.
But he didn’t have enough help all game, a theme this season for the Knights.
The second half wasn’t any better for Nathan Brown’s side as the home team piled on four more tries to make it a miserable day for the Knights.
Bulldozing front-rower Taupau’s four-pointer was arguably the best of the day, with Manase Fainu, Cherry-Evans and Dylan Walker all combining through the middle third to give Taupau a rare four-pointer.
In contrast Newcastle’s attack struggled, as they botched most of their last-tackle options and failed to make the most of their opportunities.
Manly are Premiership Contenders
All year there’s been three teams talked about as premiership fancies – Storm, Souths and the Roosters – but now you can add Manly. Along with the Raiders, Manly have been in great form the past month and should be seriously considered premiership threats.
Daly’s Dally M Chance
Manly’s captain Daly Cherry-Evans had a blinder, steering his side around to a nice win. His combination with both Trbojevic brothers and halves partner Dylan Walker is working wonders at the right time of the year. You wouldn’t count out Daly winning the Dally M this year, if Manly keep winning, with only a month-and-a-bit of football left in the regular season.
Where Now for Newcastle?
A reasonable run home gives Newcastle a chance to turn it around, with Parramatta, North Queensland, Wests Tigers, Gold Coast and Penrith rounding out their last month of the regular season. Knowing Newcastle, you can’t predict how they are going to fare in these games.
Turbo vs Ponga was a Joy to Watch
Watching these two young guns play on a Saturday afternoon was a joy to watch. The best part is that we’ve got another 10 years of this in Origin and club games. Turbo got the points on the day after running for 221 metres and making 11 tackle breaks.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 30
Tries: Reuben Garrick (2), Curtis Sironen, Joel Thompson, Martin Taupau, Jorge Taufau
Goals: Garrick 3/6
Drop Goals: Daly Cherry-Evans 0/1
Newcastle Knights 6
Tries: Kalyn Ponga
Goals: Mason Lino 1/1
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Brad Parker 4. Moses Suli 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Dylan Walker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 19. Apisai Koroisau 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: 9. Manase Fainu 15. Corey Waddell 16. Morgan Boyle 17. Taniela Paseka.
Newcastle Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 3. Hymel Hunt 4. Tautau Moga 5. Kurt Mann 6. Mason Lino 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. David Klemmer 9. Connor Watson 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Mitchell Barnett 13. Tim Glasby. Interchange: 14. Jacob Saifiti 15. James Gavet 16. Sione Mata’utia 17. Aidan Guerra.