Daly Cherry-Evans inspires Manly NRL win

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After leading Queensland to a State of Origin series win just 72 hours earlier, Daly Cherry-Evans' star kept shining as he directed Manly to a handsome 42-12 NRL victory over Newcastle in front of his home fans at Four Pines Park.

Cherry-Evans had a hand in three tries in a 10-minute period midway through the second half that sealed the deal, and got his team back into the top-eight.

The veteran halfback also took over the goal-kicking duties to boot six goals alongside his three try-assists, two line-breaks, a line-break assist and five tackle-busts.

"It was a big week for Chez coming off State of Origin but players make a point of coming back to play well for their club side," coach Des Hasler said.

"But Chez was a standout tonight with his choices (in attack), his kicking game, goal-kicking, a couple of try assists.

"It was a game we had to win here tonight and to win it well, which was good," Hasler said.

Cherry-Evans well and truly earned himself an early shower from Hasler, who brought him from the field with seven minutes left.

For the Knights, NRL finals in 2022 became an even harder prospect by conceding another 40 points following the 40-28 hiding by South Sydney a week ago.

"It was a weird game for us. There was so much to build on - much more than last week - but then there's some disappointing stuff as well," coach Adam O'Brien said.

Cherry-Evans' Queensland teammate Kalyn Ponga tried hard all night breaking five tackles, sending devious grubberkicks towards the goal-line and running for 186 metres.

But Cherry-Evans' orchestration of the attack - ably supported by his five-eighth Kieran Foran with two line-break assists - made Newcastle's night doubly hard.

It was a tight affair for the opening 10 minutes but as soon as Manly scored via a sublime Cherry-Evans pass to his right centre Tolutau Koula - the Knights replied.

Winger Dominic Young with the skills of a half, kicked inside for his No.7 Adam Clune to ground the rolling ball.

At 6-6, the majority of plays were off the back of Queensland Origin stars Ponga or Cherry-Evans trying to create something for themselves or their teammates.

But then an unlikely hero stepped up in Manly second-rower Davey, who sprinted through a gap down the left edge in the 33rd minute to gift Saab his fourth try in five games.

The Sea Eagles took a 14-6 lead right on halftime from a penalty goal due to 'Mr 200-Gamer' Anthony Milford being sin-binned for holding back Garrick.

In the second half, and reduced to 12 men for the opening 9-1/2 minutes of the term, the Knights had further troubles losing Young to a rib injury.

But no-one told Ponga, who supported Lachlan Fitzgibbon and Enari Tuala through a hole in the 44th minute, to score the first points after the break.

Then it was Cherry-Evans's time to shine, handling twice with his five-eighth Kieran Foran, to put Saab over for his second.

At 20-12 Manly had regained the eight-point gap they put between themselves and the Knights in the first half.

The Sea Eagles extended it to 36-12 in a matter of minutes with three quick tries to Haumole Olakau'atu (58th), Andrew Davey (64th) and Christian Tuipulotu (67th).

A try to one of the hardest workers on the field - hooker Croker after 35 tackles - with three minutes left - showed how much Manly never let their foot off the Knights throats.

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