Manly Sea Eagles made the best of the soggy conditions to down Newcastle Knights 30-6 tonight at Hunter Stadium.
The Sea Eagles made it three straight results in wet and wild conditions tonight with a late onslaught to run over the top of a Knights side that didn't looked at their best and fall to back-to-back defeats.
Tonight's scoreline looks inflated after the Sea Eagles scored three late tries to Karl Lawton, Haumole Olakau'atu and Taniela Paseka which gave them a 24-point success and further soar up the National Rugby League ladder to kick off Round 5.
Before that, it was a grinding contest which played right into the hands of Sea Eagles halfback Daly Cherry-Evans. Despite one brain snap where he kicked for Jason Saab inside his own 30 metre line which didn't work. He had an earlier kick for Morgan Harper which stretched the lead to 10-nil.
In the drenched conditions it took 23 minutes to find first points. Dylan Walker scooted from dummy-half and found the charging Andrew Davey to make it 4-nil. Reuben Garrick added another penalty goal to tick over the scoreboard to make it 12-6. Walker also provided the assist for Olakau'atu's four-pointer late in the contest.
It was a night as dark as the sky for the Knights. They fumbled the ball several times in good field position in the first half and it took a moment of brilliance to get it back to 10-6 just after half-time. Kalyn Ponga started and finished the move off a wonderful Enari Tuala pass to give them hope.
The home crowd thought they had taken the lead when hooker Chad Randall touched down underneath the sticks from a Ponga kick. The bunker intervened and denied the Knights a four-pointer which changed the game. Sea Eagles ran away with the contest in the later stages with a good F/A boost.
Rain is the great equaliser for forwards and it was party time for those in maroon and white in the forward pack. Lawton got the party started with a charging run to push their advantage out to 12 points then Olakau'atu and Paseka put icing on the cake for our final scoreline.
Adding to the defeat, the Knights sustained injuries to winger Dominic Young and interchange forward Jirah Momisea in the first half. They also lost Ponga for a while in the first half for a head injury assessment alongside concerns for halfback Adam Clune.