Manly hold on to beat Knights in NRL

Addin Fonua-Blake has made his case for being the NRL's form forward before felling Mitchell Pearce and being sin-binned in Manly's 26-18 win over Newcastle.

The Sea Eagles condemned the Knights to their fourth-straight loss on Saturday evening, but not before a dramatic match which showed the damaging best and worst of the Manly prop.

Coupled with Kiwi prop Martin Taupau up front, Fonua-Blake laid the platform for Manly's early 18-0 lead before scoring in the second half to make it 26-12 just when the Knights had threatened a comeback.

But he found himself in the sin-bin with 12 minutes to go, collecting a falling Pearce in the head while chasing a ball that hung high in the air.

"They're both very strong players - each one plays for their country," Manly coach Des Hasler said of Taupau and Fonua-Blake.

"They give you that momentum and platform. That's important. You need that. They give you that space and ability to play."

Manly's win was their third in a row - a perfect celebration for captain Daly Cherry-Evans' 200th game.

Apisai Koroisau was also dangerous out of dummy-half, breaking through in the lead-up to one try. Kane Elgey had a hand in another while Brendan Elliot was solid filling in for Tom Trbojevic at fullback.

But it might come at a cost.

Fonua-Blake has already missed a game this year through suspension. His tackle was labelled "serious foul play" by on-field referee Peter Gough.

"I think it was a little bit more careless, probably. I don't think it was foul play," Hasler said.

"I think they were both genuinely trying to contest the ball. Mitch is a brave player and it was a big part of the game.

"I genuinely thought Addin didn't clip him too hard. The hand was open. I think the sin-binning was punishment enough."

It followed a similar incident earlier in the match, when Curtis Sironen was put on report for a high shot on Kalyn Ponga.

Sironen was allowed to stay on the field after Ponga initially continued playing, before later going off for a head check and returning.

"We need to be careful - KP gets his share of knocks and I would like to think they could do a little more to help him," Knights coach Nathan Brown said.

"When a player has go off for concussion, then the player who does the deed probably deserves 10 in the bin.

"But it wasn't why we were where we were in the early part of the contest."

Second-rower Aidan Guerra also suffered a suspected broken ankle late in the match, adding to a horror night for a Newcastle team who had been expected to challenge for the top four.

Ponga was one of few positives for the Knights, breaking the line three times and grubbering for an Edrick Lee try just before halftime to get them off the mark.