NEWCASTLE'S four-game season-opening winning streak seems like a distant memory after the Knights slumped to a fifth straight loss on Sunday, going down 30-10 to arch rivals Manly at Brookvale Oval.
Sea Eagles favourite son Brett Stewart scored twice, taking his career try tally to 151, as Manly recorded their 14th win from 16 games against the Knights at Brookvale stretching back to 1988.
On a day when little went right for the Knights, they had three tries overturned by video referee Steve Chiddy after they were initially awarded by on-field officials Adam Devcich and Gavin Reynolds, but while they played without luck, they also played without much composure or cohesion.
After playmaker Jarrod Mullen was ruled out with a toe injury, Knights coach Rick Stone rejigged his side to try to end their four-game losing streak.
Stone shifted Kurt Gidley to join Tyrone Roberts in the halves, Sione Mata'utia to centre, Dane Gagai to fullback and Tyler Randell to dummy-half, but the changes had little effect as Manly raced to an 18-0 lead at the break.
Winger Jorge Taufua and Stewart scored in a four-minute burst midway through the first half and Jamie Lyon converted both tries for a 12-0 lead.
James McManus and Gagai touched down for Newcastle in the 26th and 35th minutes respectively but Chiddy disallowed both tries after several replays.
McManus could not trap a Lyon kick for touch a minute after Gagai's try was overturned, and Manly punished the error when man of the match Daly Cherry-Evans laid on a try for bench forward Ligi Sao three minutes before the break.
The Knights cut the deficit to 18-4 when McManus crawled over to score in the 47th minute but Stewart sliced through to score his second try 10 minutes later and Lyon converted to stretch the margin to 24-4.
Knights captain Kurt Gidley touched down in the 65th minute after Jeremy Smith recovered a Roberts bomb but that try was also taken from the Knights because Roberts knocked the ball forward into Stewart when he chased his own kick.
Cherry-Evans iced the game when he darted over to score in the 67th minute and Lyon converted for 30-4, then Tariq Sims crashed over for a consolation try - his first in Newcastle colours - in the 73rd minute.
Manly's win meant they retained the Malcolm Reilly Challenge Trophy, which they have held since 2013.
The Knights will try to stop the rot when they host Wests Tigers at Hunter Stadium next Sunday.