The Manly Sea Eagles have delivered a stunning performance against the defending premiers, the Penrith Panthers, marking Daly Cherry-Evans' record-breaking 310th NRL game.

Cherry-Evans etched his name in the history books for the Sea Eagles by surpassing club legend Cliff Lyons to become the most capped player for Manly. However, the 32-18 victory for Manly was not without its share of controversy.

The pivotal moment came in the 34th minute when Tolutau Koula capitalised on a Panthers error, intercepting a misguided pass and dashing 90 meters to score a contentious try.

The decision to allow the play to continue by referee Gerard Sutton, missed by bunker official Peter Gough, was met with disbelief. "It was one of about five or six intercepts we threw so it was a bad play by us in the first place," Panthers coach Ivan Cleary admitted, yet he couldn't hide his frustration.

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"Everyone in the stadium knew it was a knock on."

Panthers captain Isaah Yeo echoed Cleary's sentiments, revealing the team's expectation of a knock-on call.

"I guess the feeling was that we thought it was a knock on," Yeo remarked

"But like Ivan touched on, even our reaction off the back of that. They scored a try which was disappointing, but after that, there was no control for us, we didn't hold our hands up for long periods of time."

The NSW and Australian representative intimated that it was not the sole reason for their loss.

"Every time we started to get back into the arm wrestle, we'd make an error or give away a penalty. That [decision] wasn't why we lost," Yeo admitted.