Newcastle have provided one of the finishes of the season, scoring twice in the final three minutes, to steal a 32-30 victory over Melbourne, in front of 14,904 fans at Hunter Stadium.
It looked to be a routine game for the Storm. The 2012 premiers had timed their run perfectly, starting to surge their way up the ladder, coming into the final month of the season. At 12-nil after as many minutes and leading 30-20 with only three minutes left in the 80, Melbourne looked secure for four points from their NSW jaunt until there was an intervention.
The Knights roundly critised for their attitude this season, especially coming from a flogging against South Sydney, were up for the contest tonight. They may have conceded 30 points but were here to play tonight. The fourteen-thousand crowd, were small in number but vocal whenever the Knights were in possession and spurred them onto the victory.
Three minutes to go. Ten points down. It looked gone for the Knights after a failed last tackle, put the ball back in Blly Slater's and more importantly, the Storms hands. Travis Waddell though, had other ideas, wrestling the ball away from Slater and making it four points, 90 seconds to go.
Once again, it looked gone as Adam Cuthbertson hurtled to the sideline but the whistle intervened, Newcastle's the eleventh penalty of the night and the decisive one. It was the accustomed hot potato football, as the Knights stretched further than Tinkler's suit pants, looking for an opening until it came to Akuila Uate who crossed in the corner. 30-all now a kick to win it, the situation all kids dream of, especially those born in the Hunter region, like Kurt Gidley.
The fullback-turned five-eighth tonight kicked four from six tonight with the one after the siren, his most important. His counterpart, Cameron Smith had an off-night with the boot, so Gidley had to remain resolute from the sideline, once it left the captain's boot, it swung like a pendulum then a dagger into Melbourne's heart, providing another famous victory at Hunter Stadium.
In defeat, it was a night to remember, for Storm winger and Canberra 2015 recruit, Sisa Waqa who scored twice in each half, to add his name alongside Brett Morris, as wingers who have scored four tries in a losing cause. Waqa acted like a character in Pacman, eating metres and defenders throughout the 80 minutes including an spin move, that confirmed his hat-trick in the 51st minute.
A night where 62 points, Melbourne looked comfortable, for the majority of the game until it came crashing down. Billy Slater opened the scoring early, making it his 17th try against the Knights. The records continued to fall as Chamber's scored his 50th try after the resumption, Houston scored in his 150th game and Chanel Mata'utia scored his maiden NRL try in a chaotic contest.
The most telling record though, Melbourne were bested for the first time in 133 matches, after scoring 30+ points. That statistic, standing alone proves that the 2014 edition of the Storm, isn't equal to the previous editions, that have finished in the top four with the regularity of a bowel movement.