MANLY is under pressure to remind the damned half of Jackson Hastings after Lachlan Croker suffered a potentially seasonal knee injury on Friday's 18-12 NRL loss for Newcastle.
The Sea Eagles injury worsened with the twenty-fifth Croker taken from the field with a suspicion of ACL injury 30 minutes in Lottoland.
Hastings was told last week that he would play a spare class for the rest of the season after a disgrace with Daly Cherry-Evans in Gladstone.
Trent Barrett can not have any other option than turning to the former Sydney Rooster playmaker against South Sydney next week.
It was a defending fourth loss in a row for Sea Eagles while for the knights it was a big boost for their confidence without starring Mitchell Pearce.
Emerging superstar fullback Kalyn Ponga was the hero who left Nathan Ross over to the champion in the 76th minute.
At 10-10 the knights turned out to be on their way to a field goal, but Ponga decided to run it down on the left before they put Ross through a hole.
Croker has previously had two ACL tears, and one third would be a devastating blood w for his career with this year finally established himself as a regular first-degree.
Manly is now deeply in control of injury with Croker's problem, which means that Barrett has only 22 suitable men at his disposal.
Darcy Lussick), Curtis Sironen (knee), Jorge Taufua (collar bone), Brad Parker (knee) and Kelepi Tanginoa (knee) are all inaccessible, leaving them on the brink of desperation.
The website was reduced to a tomand bench when wings Matthew Wright suffered concussion and did not return after halving.
In spite of this, the eagles continued 10-4 when Shaun Lane took a short ball from Cherry Evans.
But as Manly won the arm struggle, they went to sleep, and Knight hooker Slade Griffin forced his way to the score by 20 minutes.
Ponga showed poise over his year to lead the knights home in a game just weeks after NSW's original coach Brad Fittler said he would be a nightmare.
"Oh, he would be a nightmare because you just do not know that," said Fittler about the WA-born talent tailor-made NRL
Martin Taupau was huge for the Sea Eagles, charging 225 meters from 22 carriers while Jake Trobojevic was also unbearable, making 200 meters to be sinful in the dying moments.