Newcastle's dominant start to the year is fading into the rear-view mirror while the reverse is true for Manly, who have all-but forgotten their own dire opening fortnight.
Newcastle stunned the Roosters and humbled Wests Tigers to sit atop the ladder after two rounds, before Mitch Barnett's brain explosion brought them undone against Penrith which was followed by last weekend's loss to nil at Cronulla leaving them wobbling.
The Sea Eagles followed the opposite path, looking lost against the Panthers and Roosters before scraping home against the Bulldogs which led into a convincing win over the Raiders in Mudgee last weekend that has them humming a month into the competition.
They'll need to ensure the loss of star fullback Tom Trbojevic to a knee injury doesn't stunt the momentum they have been able to build.
Sportsbet Betting preview: Knights v Sea Eagles
Knights: Adam O'Brien has named the same 17 players, with Jacob Saifiti returning to the run-on side with Leo Thompson on the bench. Tyson Frizell has been named despite hamstring tightness last week.
Sea Eagles: Tolutau Koula, who was himself set to replace the injured Tom Trbojevic, has been ruled out with injury. Brad Parker returns to take his place in the centres with Christian Tuipulotu shifting to the wing.
Match: Knights v Sea Eagles
Round 5 -
Fullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn PongaFullback for Sea Eagles is number 5 Reuben Garrick
Winger for Knights is number 2 Dominic YoungWinger for Sea Eagles is number 2 Jason Saab
Centre for Knights is number 3 Dane GagaiCentre for Sea Eagles is number 4 Morgan Harper
Centre for Knights is number 4 Bradman BestCentre for Sea Eagles is number 20 Brad Parker
Winger for Knights is number 5 Enari TualaWinger for Sea Eagles is number 3 Christian Tuipulotu
Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Jake CliffordFive-Eighth for Sea Eagles is number 6 Kieran Foran
Halfback for Knights is number 7 Adam CluneHalfback for Sea Eagles is number 7 Daly Cherry-Evans
Prop for Knights is number 8 Jacob SaifitiProp for Sea Eagles is number 8 Josh Aloiai
Hooker for Knights is number 9 Chris RandallHooker for Sea Eagles is number 9 Lachlan Croker
Prop for Knights is number 10 Daniel SaifitiProp for Sea Eagles is number 10 Martin Taupau
2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Tyson Frizell2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 11 Haumole Olakau'atu
2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Brodie Jones2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 12 Andrew Davey
Lock for Knights is number 13 Kurt MannLock for Sea Eagles is number 13 Jake Trbojevic
Interchange for Knights is number 14 Phoenix CrosslandInterchange for Sea Eagles is number 14 Dylan Walker
Interchange for Knights is number 15 Jirah MomoiseaInterchange for Sea Eagles is number 15 Karl Lawton
Interchange for Knights is number 16 Leo ThompsonInterchange for Sea Eagles is number 16 Sean Keppie
Interchange for Knights is number 17 Sauaso SueInterchange for Sea Eagles is number 17 Taniela Paseka
Replacement for Knights is number 18 Simi SasagiReplacement for Sea Eagles is number 24 Ben Trbojevic
- Referee: Ashley Klein
- Touch Judge: Chris Sutton
- Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
- Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins
Adam Clune v Daly Cherry-Evans: With Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga unusually quiet against the Sharks last week and Manly star Tom Trbojevic sidelined, pressure will once again be on the respective number sevens to get the job done this week. Newcastle would have seen the kicking masterclass that DCE delivered last week and their ability to limit his time and opportunities will be key. Clune's one career game against Manly was a 34-4 win when at the Dragons — coincidentally against a Sea Eagles side that was missing Tom Trbojevic. He'll no doubt be hoping that history repeats itself on Thursday night.
Expect the long kicking game to have a big say in this one - Daly Cherry-Evans has the most kicks (62) and second-most kick metres (1838) through four rounds while Jake Clifford has the most kick-metres (1889) from the second-most kicks (53).