The Newcastle Knights have produced the best first half of the season to shock the Sea Eagles 32-14 in a dominant display last night.
The Knights fighting for their survival blew the in-form Sea Eagles off the park in the first half in particular, with winger Akuila Uate and five-eighth Jarrod Mullen taking charge and producing the goods.
Uate was the star scoring three tries in the first-half with Kurt Gidley, Jarrod Mullen and Junior Sau in particular all playing a hand in the first-half dominance.
It could also be a return to form for the often inconsistent Mullen, as he showed flashes of brilliance including a near length of the field try.
Manly did what they could to get back into the game, but the Knights had all the answers and the Sea Eagles just couldn’t match the Knights intensity.
Knights coach Rick Stone praised his side’s efforts in the first half in particular and claimed that the way his side played doesn’t represent his side’s position on the table.
“Sometimes this season, we have taken two steps forward and one step back at times, but we are still evolving and tonight was hopefully a benchmark of where we should be in terms of execution and what we can bring when our minds are on the job”.
Manly coach Des Hasler conceded that his team was the poorer side.
“There’s no excuses, they competed harder around the ruck, and although we started poorly, we still gave ourselves a chance, but it wasn’t our night and I’m not happy we gave up 32 points”.
To make matters worse for the Sea Eagles, Manly fullback Ben Farrar is set to undergo scans for knee ligament damage.