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Manly beat Knights off disputed Uate try

NZN 9/06/2017 Matt Encarnacion

Akuila Uate has haunted former club Newcastle with a controversial try in Manly's 18-14 win over the Knights that helped the Sea Eagles temporarily move into the NRL top four.

Playing in his first match against the Knights since shifting to Brookvale last summer, Uate scored the opening try before incorrectly being awarded his double in the second half.

The Sea Eagles were leading 12-8 in torrential conditions at Lottoland on Friday evening when referee Ashley Klein immediately ruled try on Uate's dive in the north-west corner.

However, replays showed the former Kangaroos winger dropped the ball over the line.

"The disappointing one with the Choccy try was that the touch judge stands there and tells the referee to go and check the grounding," Knights coach Nathan Brown said post match.

"I don't know why the referee didn't check the grounding. The touch judge told him to.

"You watch the TV and you watch the touch judge. That's why he stood back, he didn't go to the tryline, he stood back and told him.

"You watch him mouth it out, 'Just check the grounding'."

Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett said his team was lucky to get the win, but claimed Uate was robbed of a try moments earlier when he was deemed to have interfered with a catcher mid-air.

"Look we were lucky. Some weeks you get them (calls)," Barrett said.

"I thought the try before it, when he ruled Choc interfered with the catcher, I thought that was a fair try.

"And then the other one obviously dropped it.

"In the end it was a bit even stevens."

It was a decision that eventually proved crucial after Knights hooker Danny Levi scooted over from dummy half with five minutes remaining to set up a grandstand finish.

The Knights pressed in the final moments but the Sea Eagles eventually held on - Uate also dramatically sent a Hail Mary kick over the deadball line - to extend their winning streak to three.

It is the first time Manly have been in the top quarter of the ladder in three years.

A heavy downpour before kickoff and the early Friday timeslot meant just 4,189 turned up at Lottoland - Manly's smallest crowd at the venue since 2,506 fans were on hand in 1997.

But the brave Sea Eagles faithful were treated to a willing contest where both sides completed at a respectable rate and provided some brutal contact.

Newcastle opened the scoring with a penalty goal, however, it was Manly who crossed the tryline first when Uate scored his eighth try of the season.

The try came moments after the Knights were forced to replace a concussed Nathan Ross, whose absence left a gaping hole for the Sea Eagles to attack.

A string of penalties and Sea Eagles turnovers gave the Knights nine of the next 13 sets and it looked as though they would be held out until Brock Lamb got lucky in the 14th minute.

The Knights five-eighth just got foot to a grubber that ricocheted twice before landing at his own feet, and his resulting conversion gave the Knights an 8-6 lead at the break.

Brian Kelly bombed a chance to regain the lead when he fumbled a long pass, but Curtis Sironen brushed past three defenders for the go-ahead try on 10 minutes into the second half.

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