Mitch Dransfield reviews the Sunday afternoon clash between the Sea Eagles and Knights at Brookvale Oval ….. Here’s how the game went.
|7th||Sin Bin – Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly)||0-0|
|7th||Penalty Conversion – Kalyn Ponga (Newcastle)||Newcastle 2-0|
|13th||Try – Andrew McCullough (Newcastle)||Newcastle 6-0|
|14th||Goal – Kalyn Ponga (Newcastle)||Newcastle 8-0|
|20th||Try – Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly)||Newcastle 8-4|
|21st||Goal – Reuben Garrick (Manly)||Newcastle 8-6|
|39th||Try – Kurt Mann (Newcastle)||Newcastle 12-6|
|40th||Goal – Kalyn Ponga (Newcastle)||Newcastle 14-6|
|67th||Try – Cade Cust (Manly)||Newcastle 14-10|
|67th||Goal – Reuben Garrick (Manly)||Newcastle 14-12|
A strong start from the home team in Manly was then broken down with errors which had Knights come into their own down on the Sea Eagles goal line. A few forced goal-line dropouts from Mitch Pearce built pressure which ultimately led to a professional foul by Daly Cherry-Evans holding back Lachlan Fitzgibbon from running through the line and potentially scoring their first points. Kalyn Ponga converted the penalty to have Knights up 2-0 after 7 minutes.
A scrum penalty gave the visitors another chance with Andrew McCullough crashing over from rake at the 13th minute to have Newcastle lead 8-0. Fresh back from the sin-bin the Manly skipper bamboozled the opposition close to the line to score a great solo try with a 8-6 fight back. After possession swinging back and forth with staunch Manly defence a brilliant crossfield kick by Pearce to Kurt Mann just shy of half time had them go further ahead 14-6.
The intensity from kick-off was tenfold with an arm wrestle for the twenty minutes after the break with Manly parked down on Knights goal line, no success on breaking it with Ponga heroics getting out of goal on a few occasions to save more pressure.
Points weren’t seen until the 67th minute with the Sea Eagles had the ball kept live until DCE found Cade Cust streaming through the middle to score nearly untouched and move to 14-12. A tussle from each side for the remaining minutes Manly with all the momentum was unable to convert more chances with a controversial call at the death against Sea Eagles.
On full-time Addin Fonua-Blake was sent off for dissent after Manly were denied a penalty in the final play when Bradman Best pushed Tevita Funa after he kicked the ball.
The highlight of the match was a beautiful kick at the dying stages of the first half by Knights halfback Mitch Pearce, he was able to cross kick the ball to a flying Kurt Mann to tap to himself mid-air and regather for a try in the 39th minute that ended up being the difference in the end.
Sea Eagles:1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Brad Parker 4. Moses Suli 5. Tevita Funa 6. Lachlan Croker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Danny Levi 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Cade Cust 15. Jack Gosiewski 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka
Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Edrick Lee 3. Enari Tuala 4. Bradman Best 5. Hymel Hunt 6. Kurt Mann 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. David Klemmer 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Sione Mata’utia 13. Herman Ese’ese 14. Tex Hoy 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Aidan Guerra 17. Pasami Saulo