The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a devastating 18-12 loss to the Newcastle Knights. Playing at Lottoland in round eight of the Telstra Premiership, the team has now suffered four consecutive defeats in the series. They have only four competition points which does help them case in becoming a strong contender.
Manly squad’s troubles have only grown with time. This time, the five-eight Lachlan Croker suffered a serious knee injury in the 31st minute, which will likely keep him out for the rest of the series. Though the full extent of the injury is yet unknown, it is likely that the player won’t be able to contribute to the team.
The injury season at Sea Eagles has left them defenseless this time. Kelepi Tanginoa and Curtin Sironen have both suffered heavy knee injuries and will likely be out for the rest of the season. Brad Parker also had a knee injury and he could be out for the next two weeks. Jorge Taufua suffered a collarbone injury which will keep him out for a little less than two weeks.
Newcastle opened the scoreboard in the 17th minute of the game when the bunker ruled five-eight Connor Watson and Lachlan Croker tried to wrestle their way to the team. Watson, however, grounded the ball. Later Ken Sio, tried to convert the try to get his team a 4-0 lead but it did not convert. In the 25th minute, the Sea Eagles tried to come close to their opponents with center Dylan Walker beating winger Nathan Ross to score for the team. Later, captain and half-back Daly Cherry-Evans provided his team a 6-4 lead.
Three minutes into the game, Cherry-Evans by the bunker rule forward again. This time, it was Shaun Lane who obstructed Lachlan Fitzgibbon from making a tackle. This could have cost the team their match, right then. Right at this moment, began the end of the Sea Eagles’ hope to win the game. The team lost their five-eight Lachlan Croker after he suffered an injury in his left knee in the 31st minute. Winger Matthew Wright also suffered a concussion and both men didn’t return to the game after this.
Then, a short pass to Lane from Cherry-Evans helped the team score in the 43rd minute and they retained a 10-4 lead over their opponents but Cherry-Evans failed to convert the try later. However, the Knights were ready with an attack place. Hooker Slade Griffin hit back at the Sea Eagles when he scored next to the post. Sio finally converted to tie the score in the 60th minute.
In the 65th minute, Sio converted a penalty goal next to the posts to give Knights a 12-10 lead. Before this, Api Koroisau was penalized as held too long in a tackle. This gave the Knights a chance to break through their score. This lead didn’t last long as Cherry-Evans bravely scored to level the game once again with a penalty goal. However, by the end of the night, Knights clinched their victory 18-12 with three minutes remaining. This is the first time Knights have won in Manly home ground since 2006.