In the upset win of the round, the Knights managed to outmuscle Manly 32 – 14 at Energy Australia Stadium on Monday night thanks to a hat-trick of tries from the NRL’s leading tryscorer Akuila Uate.
It was a desperate Newcastle side that won on Monday and ended their two game losing streak, but despite the victory they are still four competition points outside of the top eight sitting in the 11th position.
Punters that jumped on the Knights’ juicy underdog odds at Ladbrokes.com.au would have enjoyed a big payout
The Sea Eagles are up in the sixth spot still looking okay for the finals in spite of losing the match, their first defeat in three weeks.
Manly were the hot favourites at Ladbrokes.com.au heading into the match, but it was evident within minutes that Newcastle were ready to play some serious footy.
The Knights enjoyed the support of the home crowd and rewarded the 14,625 fans who had turned up with a sensational start, scoring two tires in the opening six minutes.
Junior Sau opened their account in the second minute and then Akuila Uate scored his first of an eventual three tries in the sixth minute off a Mullen bomb.
Veteran skipper Kurt Gidley converted one from two so the home side were in front 10 – nil early on.
The Sea Eagles answered back in the 12th minute with a Ben Farrar four-pointer, but without the conversion they still trailed by a converted try.
Before half time the Knights scored two more tries, both by Uate in the 18th and 36th minutes, the final one after he jumped on a Gidley grubber.
Gidley slotted both through the posts and also kicked a penalty in the 30th minute so Newcastle took an encouraging 24 – 4 lead to the sheds, their reward for a nearly 100% first half completion rate.
In the second half Newcastle got the early advantage with a 47th minute penalty kicked by Gidley to extend their lead to a very comfortable 22 points.
Manly were able to score two more tries one each to Tony Williams and halfback Trent Hodkinson in the 55th and 68th minutes, Jamie Lyon converting one from two to narrow the margin 26 – 14.
But it wasn’t enough to catch the Knights, who added more shine to their armour with a final converted try by Jarrod Mullen five minutes from time after he ran 80 metres to touch down.
In more bad news for the Sea Eagles, fullback Ben Farrer suffered an injury to his knee that could possibly rule him out for the remainder of the season.
Can Manly regroup and beat the Storm this weekend? No matter who you are backing one thing is for sure, you don’t want to settle for the NRL odds at the TAB.
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