The nib Newcastle Knights couldn’t win back the Malcolm Reilly Trophy, as they were defeated 18-14 by the Manly Sea Eagles at Lottoland on a rain-soaked Friday evening.
A downpour didn’t deter the Knights, who made just one change before kick off, as they battled out a tough first half with two try-savers, but the home side edged out the Novocastrians in the second stanza with a controversial try from Akuila Uate.
Kicking game on song, Brock Lamb pulled off a 40-20 before a penalty 10 metres out allowed the five-eighth to get first two points of the match from the tee.
Nathan Ross was forced from the field with concussion in the 20th minute, and seconds later the home side scored their first try on his flank via Uate to lead 6-2.
Soon after Knights hooker Danny Levi dived across the line, but the bunker deemed it a double movement and denied the try.
Four minutes before first half, Jaelen Feeney pulled off a kick and collect to score the Knights' first try, as well as his first NRL try. Lamb converted for the Knights to lead 8-6 at the half time break.
Ten minutes into the second half, Manly regained the lead when Curtis Sironen crashed through the line, 12-8.
Soon after Uate claimed a try, but the bunker deemed Brendan Eliot was taken out of the contest in the build up.
But Uate scored his second in the 59th minute, despite replays showing he dropped the ball over the line. Manly stretched their lead to 18-8.
After passing a HIA, Levi came back on to scoot over for the points from dummy half with five minutes to go, but the Sea Eagles were able to hold off the Knights to win with some controversy, 18-14.
Newcastle Knights 14 (T: Feeney, Levi, G: Lamb 2/2, PG: Lamb 1/1)
Manly Sea Eagles 18 (T: Uate 2, Sironen, G: Wright 3/3)