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The Knights proved there is life without Mitchell Pearce as they fought from behind to beat a sloppy Manly side 18-12 in front of a small Lottoland crowd.
The game started in front of the smallest crowd this year - and the smallest in the NRL since these two met last year in wet weather at the same venue last year.
Manly started the game playing with more enthusiasm and looking more threatening, however after 15 minutes it was the Knights who opened the scoring when Connor Watson took the line on and barged over.
Ten minutes later Manly equalised when Cherry Evans kicked for Walker. Ross got to it first but he had a near-airswing while trying to catch the bouncing ball. It comes off his fingers and dribbles into the Knights in-goal area and Walker planted it for a try. Cherry-Evans converted to give his side the lead.
The 30th minute saw Manly five-eighth Croker injure his knee. The young playmaker was in agony and after some treatment, hobbled off the field.
Daniel Saifiti was given ten minutes in the sin bin for interfering in an attacking play near the Knights line while in an offside position. Manly though were sloppy for the remainder of the half and failed to capitalise on the extra man advantage. At the break Manly lead 6-4.
Manly again started the half strongly when the sides came back out. Cherry-Evans ran to the line before dishing a nice short ball to Lane who barged over for a try. DCE failed to convert. Manly now lead 10-4.
Just before the hour mark of the game, Griffin barged over from dummy half when the Knights were looking somewhat clueless in attack. His try was converted by Sio to equal the scores.
Five minutes later Manly gave away a dumb penalty right in front of their own posts and Sio slotted a penalty goal to give his side a 2 point lead.
The Knights then did the same thing, giving away back to back silly penalties and Cherry Evans equalised with a penalty goal from right in front.
With five minutes remaining in the game, Ponga took on the line before passing to Ross who stepped back in field and through a gap in Manly's goal line defence to score the match winning try, which Sio converted.
Both sides were sloppy to the end game, which ended with Jake Trbojevic being sent to the bin with 17 seconds left. Manly let a win slip away here, however hardly any of their fans were there to witness it.
Manly are now on the road for a few weeks, away to the Roosters on Sunday week. Newcastle head home to host the Broncos.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 12 - Newcastle Knights 18
Halftime Score: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 6 Newcastle Knights 4
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Kalyn Ponga
2 points - Slade Griffin
1 points - Tom Trbojevic
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES (12)
Tries: Dylan Walker, Shaun Lane
Conversions: Daly Cherry-Evans (1/2)
Penalty Goals: Daly Cherry-Evans (1/1)
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (18)
Tries: Connor Watson, Slade Griffin, Nathan Ross
Conversions: Ken Sio (2/3)
Penalty Goals: Ken Sio (1/1)