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Elliot torn ACL a huge setback as Manly walk finals 'tightrope'

Another game, another serious injury for the Manly Sea Eagles with fullback Brendan Elliot booked in for scans to see if he has torn his anterior cruciate ligament.

And as the Sea Eagles recorded their third loss in a row by going down 26-24 to the Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium, coach Des Hasler admitted his side was walking "a tightrope" to make the finals.

Elliot's feared ACL diagnosis came as the 26-year-old - playing against one of his three former clubs - was sandwiched and then twisted to the ground in a regulation tackle in the 19th minute.

He had been standing in for first-choice fullback Tom Trbojevic (hamstring), who hasn't been sighted since round six.

"Tom is still at least two weeks away," Hasler said, which makes it all the more interesting why international winger Jorge Taufua was a late omission from the Sea Eagles – his place filled by Tevita Funa.

"[Taufua] will be back next week. He needed a rest. He'll have time to recover now so he'll be back on deck fresh for next week."

Match Highlights: Knights v Sea Eagles

Taufua's skills might have been handy on Sunday since he's scored 11 tries in his past nine games against the Knights.

Manly now must regroup as they prepare to face a confident South Sydney Rabbitohs side at ANZ Stadium next weekend.

The Sea Eagles have been hovering just outside the top eight for a month now unable to jump back into finals contention.

"Equation-wise there's still enough points and there's plenty to be positive about that performance there today," Hasler said.

Sea Eagles: Round 14

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"The last two weeks we've let four points go," Hasler said referring to the four-point loss against the Warriors at Lottoland.

"So we're making it very difficult … we're walking a tightrope so we need to walk it well."

A lopsided penalty count of 11-3 in the Knights' favour didn't help matters.

"We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times with a few disciplinary penalties," Hasler said.

"That's the frustrating part about it. It doesn’t matter who's in, who's out, how many we're missing, players coming in are expected to do the job. We didn't get it done.

"The penalty count would be my only gripe – 11-3 kind of kept them in the game. I don't mind the 11 against I just want a few more than three.

"I thought Newcastle were offside at least six times – it was just weight of possession for them."

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