The Newcastle Knights's 2004 season is all but over following a comprehensive 48-10 drubbing at the hands of the Manly Sea Eagles today.
With the rain falling on Brookvale, the Manly side withstood early attacking raids from the Knights before scoring in the 17th minute to take a 6-0 lead.
Manly went further ahead before the Knights finally got the board just before half time and at the break, it was 18-4 in favour of the Sea Eagles.
With half back Michael Monaghan leading the way, Manly went from strength to strength, running out convincing winners by 48-10.
The result is a 98-point turnaround for the Sea Eagles and goes some way to erase the embarrassing 72-12 loss to the Panthers last week.
Brookvale Oval Referee: Stephen Clark
SEA EAGLES 48 Tries: Stewart 2, Donald 2, Bradley, Monaghan, King, Leuluai Goals: Walker 8/8 defeated KNIGHTS 10 Tries: Carmont, O'Davis Goals: K Gidley 1/2
By the clock: 0 min: Players coming onto the field... kickoff!
5 min: NEWS - No score as yet with the Sea Eagles on the back foot early on.
15 min: NEWS - Still 0-0 with the Knights unable to capitalise on opportunities. The Sea Eagles slowly working their way back into the match with Steve Menzies leading from the front.
17 min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Nick Bradley scores for Manly. Conversion Andrew Walker OK. Sea Eagles 6-0
25 min: NEWS - Still Manly in front 6-0. A low scoring game so far with both sides defending solidly. Knights pushing the envelope a bit, making a few more errors and having trouble with their completions.
32 min: Possible try to Manly. Waiting for video ref call....
33 min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Brett Stewart survives video ref scrutiny. Conversion Walker OK. Sea Eagles 12-0
36 min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Scott Donald scores with the rain now coming down. Conversion Walker. Sea Eagles 18-0
38 min: TRY - Knights. George Carmont scores out wide. Conversion K Gidley unsuccessful. Sea Eagles 18-4
HALF TIME SUMMARY: Newcastle had almost all the ball early on but were held out with Anthony Watmough and Jason King leading a solid Manly defensive line. The Knights have often been their worst enemy, failing to complete sets and allowing the Sea Eagles ample opportunities. Sea Eagles 18-4 Second half underway...
43 min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Brett Stewart gets a double as Manly dominate from the re-start. Conversion Walker OK. The Knights look gone for all money. Sea Eagles 24-4
51 min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Michael Monaghan scores a well deserved try and it's all over red rover. Conversion Walker. Sea Eagles 30-4
58 min: TRY - Sea Eagles Jason King scores and the Sea Eagles are lining up. Conversion Walker, having an excellent day with the boot. Sea Eagles 36-4
65 min: Still 36-4 to Manly. A dominating display from the home side who look nothing like the team who were done by 72-12 by the Panthers just last week.
71 min: TRY - Knights Robbie O'Davis scores. Conversion K Gidley OK. Sea Eagles 36-10
73 min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Scott Donald gets a double. Conversion Walker. Sea Eagles 42-10
77 min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Kylie Leuluai scores as the Knights capitulate. Conversion Walker. Sea Eagles 48-10
FULL TIME SUMMARY: A 98-point turnaround for Manly who were far too enthuiastic with a superior kick-chase game, often forcing the Knights into error. The harder the Knights tried, the further they seem to fall behind.
For the Sea Eagles, Michael Monaghan was outstanding and Andrew Walker, although he took a while, eventually fired up with some excellent play - Walker also kicking 8 goals in wet conditions. In the forwards, Jason King carted the ball up all afternoon while Steve Menzies and Kylie Leuluai were also stand-outs.
For Newcastle, Ben Kennedy and Kurt Gidley can hold their heads high but by-and-large, it was a woeful performance from a team who, for intents and purposes, were playing for their season.
Overall, the Knights were unable to complete their sets and were defensively poor. At one point, an irate Danny Buderus was seen blowing up at his subordinates after they conceded a soft try.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - M Monaghan (Sea Eagles) 2 - A Walker (Sea Eagles) 1 - J King (Sea Eagles) -----------------------------------------