Rugby League

Manly Sea Eagles v Newcastle Knights

Going down? Brett Stewart of the Sea Eagles is ankle-tapped by Jarrod Mullen of the Knights.
Going down? Brett Stewart of the Sea Eagles is ankle-tapped by Jarrod Mullen of the Knights. Photo: Matt King

I'm no fan of the field-goal shootout in drawn games but that was a pretty breath-taking finale. Cherry-Evans is man of the match but he had a pretty ordinary game for 79 minutes and 50-odd seconds tonight. But that's not what counted on the night.

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There's not even time for a restart. I am utterly gobsmacked. The poor old Knights must feel like they've been mugged. 

But that was a Roger Gould-esque field goal worthy of winning any match (rugby or league).

Manly were awful for an hour or more of that match to the point they were getting heckled by their own fans but somehow come away with the chocolates.

The big what if is what if Gidley had slotted that apparently easy field goal but may have been put off by the long delay in getting a tee. Just as he was put off by the ref moving his previous kick back. Gamesmanship from the Manly ballboys perhaps?

The Knights played with great heart but couldn't capitalise on the opportunities handed to them by the error-prone Manly. That's football for ya.

Manly 15 Knights 14



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80 min: Cuthbertson gets an offload away for the Knihts and they make valuable ground into the Manly half.

Then Rochow makes a break but is hauled down as Manly are preoccupied with snuffing out the field goal. 

Boyd has a pot at field goal but it sails just wide. 

They go down the other end sand Cherry-Evans hits a monster field goal from 40m plus and it's ... OVER!

Manly take the lead for the first and last time in the match right on the bell to crush the Knights. Incredible.

Manly 15-14

76 min: Manly pressure the Knights line but Cherry-Evans' grubber is fluffed and goes straight to the grateful Boyd.

Mullen kicks deep and Stewart takes it on the run and finds Taufua out wide. 

Watmough goes for a gallop as the Knights back off. 

Littlejohn tries field goal but it gets a touch on the way through and flies flat and ugly.



74 min: Ballin gets driven back by the Knights defence. Symonds kicks and Mamou coes away with it streaking down the line but is collared by Starling of all people. He tries to fling it inside but no dice. 


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Matai adds the extras this time to tie it up at 14-14.

Here come the Sea Eagles, finally.

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72 min: Cherry-Evans bombs again and Boyd comes away with it. 

Roberts kicks from halfway again and Williams takes it up. They find Taufua out wide but he is wrapped up, just. 

TRY! The kick goes up and McManus gets to it and juggles it to Hiku who pops it back to Buhrer to score. 

It's gone upstairs and IT'S GOOD!

Knights 14-12

Matai rushes the kick and misses. I was just going to say how costly could Gidley's penalty miss have been. But it ends up being four points conceded instead of six.

Knights 14-8

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70 min: Littlejohn bombs and it bounces, eluding everyone, and Taufua wins footrace for the massive looping bounce that drops just in front of the line and is able to ground it in the corner.

TRY! They've gone upstairs ...

He missed it (again) but this time will get a try as a result. Hilarious. 

Knights 14-8

68 min: "What the hell's going on?" yells a Manly fan as we wait an eternity for a kicking tee but he may well have been addressing the team. It has to be a green apparently. What happened to sand? There's a bit around Manly.

Gidley slices that one badly across the face and misses. Was he put off again? 

Knights 14-4

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66 min: Boyd chimes in for another hit-up then they kick. Simple but effective in their own half. 

Manly struggle to get out of their 30m in their set. DCE kicks to Boyd and the Knights are almost in their half straight up.

Sims gets a bit of a coathanger and Manly get pinged. For the first time the Knights opt for the kick from a penalty.

Knights 14-4

Gidley tries to crib a couple of inches for the kick from the sideline but is called back by the ref. He hits it wide and too straight with no fade this time.

Knights 14-4


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63 min: Manly work it up from the scrum towards halfway. Cherry-Evans slips a tackle and throws a loose switch cut-out. Stewart spins it to Matai but he doesn't hold it and Gagai pinches it.

TRY! Gagai flies down the sideline untouched by chasers to give the Knights a try very much against the run of play.

Knights 14-4 

61 min:  Cherry-Evans bombs to Uate again and again he is up to it, beating the first man but unable to evade the second. 

Mullen puts a banana kick in from halfway and finds touch.

Knights 10-4

59 min: Manly work it out of their 20m from the kick-off. Cherry-Evans bombs and this time Uate takes it cleanly.

Boyd comes in for another hit-up then Roberts kicks, and Brett Stewart takes it on the run and Manly can build again.

Knights 10-4


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Well that has been a long time coming. Taufua shows he can catch a ball and once he does is almost unstoppable with a sight of the line. 

Matai lines up the kick from the sideline and hooks it too much.

Knights 10-4 

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57 min: Matai finds Taufua like a freight train down the line and he bashes off Gagai to dot down in the corner.


Knights 10-4

54 min: Manly swarm in defence from the kick-off and drive the Knights' Big Boppers back. They look fired up finally.  

Mullen kicks deep and central and Williams comes away with it cleanly. 

Cherry-Evans kicks long and deep on the last and Uate coughs up a knock-on, baffled by the flight or maybe the lights. 

Manly get a scrum and their best chance of the half to score some points.

Knights 10-0


Great power and strength from the Knights winger playing on one leg. How good would he be with two?

Roberts misses the kick.

Knights 10-0

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52 min: It doesn't go out this tie and the Knights can attack the Manly line. 

Mullen grubbers and Taufua comes away with it but loses it in the tackle. 

TRY! Uate pounces on the crumbs and wrestles his way over again.

Knights 10-0


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