Newcastle proved too strong for Manly-Warringah with a convincing display winning 48-14 in Newcastle.
The game was just 3 minutes old as Manly trailed 12-nil. The Knights scored back-to-back tries in their first two sets. Nathan Ross scored the first of his three-try haul. After that, from the restart, the red and blue marched up field and this time scored through back-rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon. Kerrod Holland converted both tries for the perfect start.
The Sea Eagles hit back thanks to a Siosala Vave try. Kurt Aldridge added the extras to make it 12-6.
A knock on from the restart put Newcastle back on the attack as Ross scored his second try after 27 minutes.
Trailing 16-6, the Sea Eagles fought back, adding their second try five minutes from half time with Ben Fritz going over in the corner untouched.
The second half opened in similar fashion to the first with the Knights scoring two tries in a short period. Josh King charged over to score before Honeti Tuha caught a nicely-waited bomb. Down 26-10, Manly hit back again with both sides looking more adventurous with the football in a free-flowing stanza of the contest.
The Knights’ big men took control once again with Jeremy Smith providing some good carries along with Sam Mataora, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Josh King and a young Damien Sironen all doing their part.
The game was all but over when Knights winger Kerrod Holland finished off a swift back line play to extend the lead to 30-14.
A penalty for offside from the restart summed up the Sea Eagles afternoon. The penalty piggybacked Newcastle into good field position for Carlos Tuimavave to score.
The game was just over an hour old when Nathan Ross made another damaging run, which resulted in the fullback’s hat trick. If the crowd was not entertained enough, they were when Ross celebrated his try with a somersault. Ross’ try made it 40-14 but not to be outdone, both wingers Holland and Tohu bagged a double to make the final score 48-14.
It was one of the best performances the Knights have produced all season. The win keeps them in the top eight and with a positive point differential of 27. For Manly, the loss drops them to last but with eight rounds to come, they still have time to make the eight.
Newcastle Knights 48 (Nathan Ross 3, Honeti Tuha 2, Kerrod Holland 2, Carlos Tuimavave, Lachlan Fitzgibbon & Josh King tries; Kerrod Holland 4 goals) defeated Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 14 (Ben Fritz, Delroy Berryman & Siosala Vave tries; Kurt Aldridge 1 goal)