Manly trailed from Akuila Uate's opening 15th-minute try until Steve Matai converted a Jamie Buhrer try in the 73rd minute, before snatching a 15-14 win with a Daly Cherry-Evans field goal seconds before full time – despite completing at barely over 50 per cent for most of the match.
"It was a bit of a lucky escape to tell you the truth," Toovey said.
"The effort was there from all the players but we didn't really execute anything all game. I think our completions were in the 50 per cent range – I think we were just fortunate Newcastle had some key players missing and fortunately for us they didn't throw too much at us. It was a lucky escape."
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"The bye comes at a good time for us – [Foran and Lyon] were almost right for this game but not quite, another two weeks I think they'll be fine," he said.
"It's a well-deserved win for us going into the bye, we just need that bit of a break I think."
Stand-in skipper Brett Stewart said the win was a good sign of the team's character, highlighting a 75th-minute sideline tackle from prop Josh Starling on runaway Knights winger Jake Mamo.
"Josh Starling running down [Mamo] on the sideline, that was a big play and probably turned the match, then [Cherry-Evans'] field goal," he said.
Toovey said the efforts of Starling and fellow prop Brenton Lawrence – who also provided some great cover tackles – were laudable.
"I think our sprint coach will take some credit there!" he laughed of Starling's effort.
"I think Brenton Lawrence did a similar thing twice in the half as well, they made a couple of half breaks and he chased them down which he's done the last few weeks. I thought those two players were really good today. They saved the match and also won us the match."
Of a rocks-and-diamonds performance from potential NSW winger Jorge Taufua, who gave up a try or two with a series of errors but also scored two of his own – Stewart said the side had rallied around him after those mistakes
"He doesn't say too much, we just picked his head up. After a couple of errors he dropped his head a little bit," Stewart said.
"Jimmy Buhrer said to him he'd score a couple of tries and that wasn't far off the mark – it was good to see him pick his head up. Hopefully he goes all right if he gets picked for Origin, he deserves to be picked I think."