His three try performance in the Warriors 22-10 win has virtually put the Knights finals hopes to bed, as they can now only mathematically make it, but even that remains a stretch as they need several results over the next few weeks to go their way.
In a clash that had a much anticipated showdown between two of the NRL’s biggest wingers in Akuila Uate and Manu Vatuvei, the man simply known as the ‘The Beast’ was the clear winner not only scoring three tries, but also running down the man regarded as the fastest in league.
“I haven’t seen him run that quick for a while”, says coach Ivan Cleary.
“He’s pretty competitive, Manu. When he (Uate) got away like that, he was pretty determined to run him down”.
Despite the Warriors poor completion rate due to a staggering 9 errors in the first half alone, they managed to cling onto a 10-4 lead going into the break.
Were it not for Manu’s try-saving tackle, Uate would have tied the game up at 10-10, and it would have made for an interesting contest, but Manu’s heroics put any possible tied score to bed.
Knights forward Dan Tolar eventually did cross to tie the scores, but the Warriors then showed too much class with Manu scoring his 15th try in 17 games.
The game had it’s share of controversy with the Knights questioningÂ a forward pass that denied them a try.
“Yeah, it probably does (mean our season is over)”, says Knights coach Rick Stone.
“Obviously we’re relying on other results. We weren’t thinking too much about the playoffs for this particular game. We showed plenty of fight to the end.”