A Daly Cherry-Evans field-goal in golden point has broken the hearts of the Cronulla Sharks, losing 33-32 in a thriller at Southern Cross Group Stadium.
Cronulla showed strong resolve to fight back from 26-18 down early in the second half but couldn't find the final blow to secure the win.
In positive news, both second-rower Wade Graham and Josh Dugan – who played on the right wing – made successful returns from injury.
The Sharks took just four minutes to open their account – and it was a familiar sight for Cronulla fans.
After a long ball from five-eighth Matt Moylan, Graham stepped through a hole and found the ever-present Holmes. The NRL's leading try-scorer jetted under the posts for his 18th four-pointer of the season.
Assuming the goal-kicking reins from Chad Townsend, Holmes booted the extras.
But the Sea Eagles returned serve minutes later as Shaun Lane crashed over close to the line.
Manly captain Cherry-Evans converted to lock the scores at 6-6 following a frenetic opening nine minutes.
The momentum soon shifted back in Cronulla's favour, and more points looked to have come in the form of centre Ricky Leutele. However, the try was disallowed after an obstruction was ruled by the Bunker.
There was no such drama in the 18th minute, though, when the Sharks were awarded a second try.
Running onto a measured short ball from Townsend, veteran lock Paul Gallen flicked a superb offload for his co-captain Graham to score beneath the sticks untouched.
Holmes was on target with the kick, pushing the Sharks back in front by six.
Manly continued the back and forth nature of the contest when five-eighth Dylan Walker danced past the right-side Cronulla defence and reached out to ground the ball.
Cherry-Evans put the Sea Eagles level at 12-12 with a successful conversion.
Another try in quick time gave Manly the lead. Cherry-Evans threw a beautiful flat pass to lead runner Shaun Lane and he notched a double.
The halfback iced the four-pointer he assisted by kicking the goal.
Cronulla was left with 12 men for 10 minutes when prop Aaron Woods was sin-binned in dubious circumstances.
A penalty on the next set presented Manly with two points which they duly accepted to go ahead 20-12.
The Sharks were denied for a second time after a Moylan try was pulled back for another obstruction, much to the annoyance of the big home crowd.
But there was no rejecting Jesse Ramien on the stoke of half-time as he delivered one of the most determined individual efforts of the year.
Receiving the ball 10 metres out from the try line, the rookie centre barrelled over the top of one Manly defender before keeping a host of others at bay to claim a valuable try.
Cool as you like, Holmes potted the goal from out wide to reduce the score to 20-18 at the break.
The Sea Eagles raced out of the blocks in the second stanza, touching down in their first set when Tom Trbojevic outleapt Dugan to collect a bomb in the left corner.
Cherry-Evans continued his perfect kicking day to make the score 26-18.
Cronulla answered in the form of Aaron Woods. The mid-season recruit dived upon a James Segeyaro grubber for his first try in Sharks colours.
The conversion was on target and the home team was back within two.
The ledger was squared in the 50th minute with a straightforward Holmes penalty goal from 30 metres out.
Cronulla's earlier lead was then restored thanks to the sleek stepping of Moylan, who sharply jinked back against the grain to cross for his second try of 2018.
Holmes kicked his sixth goal of the afternoon to give the Sharks a 32-26 advantage.
Cronulla had the chance to surge move by eight in the 72nd minute, but Holmes' penalty attempt was wide. It would prove costly.
Manly's Joel Thompson then fell on a Cherry-Evans grubber to score, and the Sea Eagles were back on level terms at 32-32 after the conversion with five minutes remaining.
Cherry-Evans had a perfect opportunity to kick a field-goal in the 79th minute, but he skewed it to the left under intense pressure from the desperate Sharks defence.
And so, the teams headed to golden point. This time around, Cherry-Evans made the shot to win Manly the game.