Turbo-less Manly burns ’embarrassing’ Knights
If you ask Daly Cherry-Evans, or anyone else in a maroon and white jumper, they’ll bristle at the suggestion that they’re a one-man team.
And when that’s a notion you hear so frequently, wins like this mean that much more.
The Sea Eagles went into this game as firm outsiders, but looked every bit as dangerous even without their star man.
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“This was a really nice win for us considering the weather tonight, and obviously Tom (Trbojevic) being out,” Cherry-Evans said afterwards.
“We understand things might be a little bit different but there were so many people in our team tonight that just took it upon themselves to be a bit tougher.”
Newcastle’s heavy defeat is one thing, but they’ll be sweating on the health of two young guns in what was a brutal first half.
The Knights lost Dom Young for the last hour of the game – the young Englishman thought he had scored the opening try, only for it to be overruled for an obstruction. Then to add injury to insult, he limped off the field with a knee problem.
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Ten minutes later they lost Kalyn Ponga to a HIA, only for his replacement Jirah Momoisea to last just four minutes before leaving with what looked like either a broken arm or a dislocated elbow.
Mercifully for Newcastle, Ponga passed his test and returned after half time, and they should have overturned a 10-0 deficit to take the lead.
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First, the gun fullback opened his team’s account after some nice play from Bradman Best and Enari Tuala, and then he provided the kick for what should have given them a 12-10 advantage.
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Chris Randall chased through the grubber and somehow knocked it on when it looked easier to score, and they’d never get another chance to pull ahead, or even level.
Three late tries padded the scoreline out a bit, with Karl Lawton’s effort from dummy half splitting the Newcastle defence far too easily before Haumole Olakau’atu and Taniela Paseka each dived on kicks for four-pointers in the final minutes.
“I thought we built throughout the game and we got a lot of reward at the back end,” Jake Trbojevic said.
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“It’s good to show that we’ve got a lot in the legs at the back end.”
Newcastle five-eighth Jake Clifford said it was an “embarrassing” showing.
“We didn’t hold the ball and Manly made us pay today,” he said, shaking off the idea that the slippery conditions were a factor.
“We can’t use that as an excuse and as I said, we weren’t good enough tonight.”
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