NEWCASTLE were gallant but ultimately not quite good enough as they suffered a 28-20 loss to Melbourne at AAMI Park tonight.
Despite the absence of Jarrod Mullen and Darius Boyd the Knights pushed the Storm all the way but lacked polish to the end of their sets to mount any real pressure.
Former Knights captain Andrew Johns told Triple M after the game he felt the Knights will do it tough in coming weeks.
"I just think they're really going to struggle until Jarrod Mullen and Darius Boyd come back."
Ill-discipline was the major factor in the Knights demise as they found themselves on the receiving end of a 15-8 penalty count with many of Melbourne's six tries coming off the back of repeat sets.
Newcastle started the match in enterprising fashion and opened the scoring through Jeremy Smith in their first venture down the Storm's end of the field.
For the first five minutes they didn't touch the ball but their defence on their own line refused to buckle and the only points came via a Cameron Smith penalty goal.
The turning point in the opening half came via a Joey Leilua error as the Knights lost possession on the first tackle from a scrum on halfway.
Melbourne winger Sisa Waqa raced 60 metres to score after centre Mahe Fonua scooped up the ball to send him on an unimpeded race to the tryline.
It was the start of three tries in six minutes which saw the Storm overturn a six-point deficit into a 10-point lead heading into the break.
In the shadows of halftime Knights interchange forward Alex McKinnon was taken off on a stretcher after getting into an awkward position where he landed head first into the AAMI Park turf.
Storm forward Jordan McLean was placed on report for the tackle and will face a nervous wait to see if any charges come out from the match review committee tomorrow.
The Storm extended their lead moments after the break through winger Young Tonumaipea who outleapt Akuila Uate to score in the corner.
But the plucky Knights weren't to be denied and scored two quick tries to Uate to close the gap to 24-20 with 10 minutes to play.
Ultimately it would be further ill-discipline which handed Melbourne more field position and Cameron Smith secured the points when he dived over from close range.
Storm halfback Cooper Cronk told Fox Sports after the game his side still had plenty of work to do.
"We're playing decent football but not Storm football.
"We played pretty well tonight but gave them a sniff. It's good to get the points."