The Newcastle Knights got back to winning ways in front of a lively crowd at Mcdonald Jones Stadium that was treated to a scoring shootout.
ResultEmbed from Getty Images
Manly travelled to McDonald Jones Stadium in search of back-to-back wins after three losses on the bounce, while the Knights looked to get back to winning ways after a dour performance against Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in Round 12.
The home side opened with a lot of intensity and found themselves attacking in the Manly half early on, only for Kalyn Ponga to throw an interception to Josh Schuster who put Reuben Garrick in under the sticks. The score soon extended out to 8-0 to the visitors with Manly converting a penalty off the back of a short goal-line drop-out.
A shocked Knights side was soon settled by Greg Marzhew crossing off the back of some effective attacking shape down the Newcastle left edge. Tyson Gamble backed it up very quickly with a break from halfway on the ensuing set to then feed Bradman Best who stormed over to level the scores with a conversion to come. Hastings converted and the Knights had four minutes left to take a lead into half time.
Manly took the initiative, however, and Lachlan Croker got on the end of a Schuster kick to give the visitors the lead at half-time.
The exciting attacking display would continued after the half-time break as Newcastle’s left edge got back to work with effective block plays that sent Marzhew over after Ponga controlled a bobbling ball to get the assist.
Ponga found more joy down the left edge and with scores tied he utilised a short side and simple hands to get Marzhew into space 30 metres from the Manly line. The winger did the rest, finishing over a covering Brad Parker to put his side ahead.
Another lead change was on the cards with Jason Saab putting his side level with a long range interception try form a Hastings long ball, but Garrick failed to convert and the teams remained tied at 18-18.
Ponga was involved in another vital play in the final quarter of the match, this time on the end of high contact that saw Tolutau Koula spend 10 minutes in the sin bin. Ultimately freeing up more space, Jack Hetherington found a small gap near the line but couldn’t hold on to the ball and was stripped in the act of a scoring attempt which Phoenix Crossland pounced on immediately to score after a Bunker review.
The try gave the Knights more momentum, and with a six-point lead, Dom Young beat four men on an 80-metre run down the Knights’ right hand side to seal the win 28-18 in emphatic fashion.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 – Greg Marzhew (Knights)
2 – Dom Young (Knights)
1 – Bradman Best (Knights)