Three days after helping Queensland win the Origin decider, Cherry-Evans was in fine touch at 4 Pines Park, helping Manly to score five unanswered tries in the final half hour and win for the sixth time in seven games at home this season.
The two sides traded converted tries through the opening 20 minutes, but Manly pulled away in the final 10 minutes of the half thanks to a Saab try and Cherry-Evans penalty.
Anthony Milford was sent to the bin just before the break for taking Reuben Garrick out off the ball.
Despite still being down a man, the Knights registered first points in the second period through Kalyn Ponga, but the effort was quickly cancelled out by Saab's second and Haumole Olakau'atu's brilliant individual try.
Manly blew the scoreline out with further tries to back-rower Andrew Davey, Mate Ma'a Tonga representative Christian Tuipulotu and Lachlan Croker.
- Newcastle lost Tyson Frizell and Dominic Young to rib injuries early in the second half in the loss, while Simi Sasagi left the field late with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.
- Jason Saab scored a try in each half to go with 218 run metres in the victory.
- Manly skipper Daly Cherry-Evans defied the short turnaround from Origin III to set up three of his side's tries.
- In a beaten side Kalyn Ponga stood out for the Knights, scoring a try, running for 186 metres and producing some big defensive plays.
- Manly led 14-12 after 10 minutes in the second-half before piling on the points late.
- The Sea Eagles completed at 88% in the win.
Play of the Game
Big man Haumole Olakau'atu showed brilliant agility and awareness to dance his way down the side of the field and beat multiple defenders with a couple of steps which left them grabbing at thin air. The back-rower was taken off 10 minutes from the end of the match having broken seven tackles during his stint.
What They Said
"The second half we were able to consolidate a little bit and go away in the end, but I don’t think the scoreboard really reflects the type of game it was. Particularly that first half which was pretty well end to end." - Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler.
"That’s a weird game for us to dissect… so much there to build on, so much more than last week. But then there will be some disappointing stuff to look at as well. We lost three key players and had a man in the bin, we had a fair bit to contend with, so there is a bit of an out there as well." – Knights coach Adam O'Brien.
Manly are back in action on Friday night against the Dragons, who they are battling with for spot in the back end of top eight right now.
The Knights are at home to the Roosters, also on Friday, and will be sweating on the fitness of both Frizell and Young.
Story first published on NRL.com