The Knights team outclassed the Melbourne Storm side tonight in Newcastle, defeating them by 44-28, but did not have it all their way.
Wet and windy conditions did not seem to dampen the Knights' spirit, and right from the onset threw the ball around, and kept the scoreline ticking over almost as fast as the minutes on the clock.
Melbourne Storm tonight, just had no answers for the Knights' attack, more so in the first half, and time and time again found themselves waiting behind the goaline for Andrew Johns to kick yet another conversion.
That is until the last 20 minutes of the game where the Newcastle side were totally guilty of falling asleep, and the Storm scored 5 unanswered tries. Although the result was never in doubt, there was a glimmer of hope in the Storm players' eyes that maybe a miracle was happening.
Try as they did, the Storm side ran out of time, but gathered back a little respect from what could've been a very embarrassing final score. The second half belonged to them.
The Knights did look good, and after the poor form shown in the last two weeks, they may have silenced a few critics tonight.
League Unlimited Player of the Match:
3. Johns (Knights) 2. Buderus (Knights) 1. Kearney (Storm) vs Sat Apr 5, EnergyAustralia Stadium, 5:30pm
Scorers: Knights 44 Tries: M Gidley, O'Davis, Buderus x2, Hall x3, Tahu Goals: Johns (6/8) Storm 28 Tries: Bai, Orford, Ross, Moule x2 Goals: Orford (4/5)
By the clock:
Newcastle with the strong wind behind them in the wet ground conditions in Newcastle
5th min: NEWS - Storm inches from scoring, however desperation defence by the Knights stops any points
6th min: TRY - M Gidley for Knights. 2 penalties get the Storm on the back foot, quick plays and the Knights score out wide. Tough conversion missed by Johns. Knights 4-0
10th min: TRY - O'Davis for Knights. Quick running and great support play by the Newcastle backs and O'Davis is down under the sticks. Johns gets the easy conversion. Knights 10-0
20th min: NEWS - Storm on the end of some bad calls by ref Hayne, Newcastle yet to capitalise on the calls going their way
23rd min: TRY - Buderus for Knights. Sustained attack by the Knights, after another penalty (6-2 count to the Knights), and Buderus works his way through the tiring defenders to score. Johns gets the conversion. Knights 16-0
25th min: TRY - Hall for Knights. A mistake from Bai under the high kick on the 5th tackle, and the Newcastle attack sets up Hall out wide, his first try for 2003. Johns from close to the sideline, slots it over. Knights 22-0
35th min: TRY - Buderus for Knights. Great chip over the defence by Johns, who gets the bounce and kicks ahead for Buderus to chase. Geyer (Storm) bombs the catch, and Buderus touches down centimetres from the back line. Jons gets the conversion. Knights 28-0
38th min: TRY - Hall for Knights. A high spiralling kick by Johns, with the wind assisting, and Hall is there to get the ball after Bai misses another catch. Johns gets a tough conversion. Knights 34-0
HALF TIME: Even though ref Hayne has made some bad calls, the Newcastle side has outplayed the Storm right across the park
45th min: TRY - Hall for Knights. Hall gets a hat trick with some poor defence by the Storm, and Johns chipping through for the support players, with Hall get the points. Johns gets the conversion. Knights 40-0
49th min: TRY - Tahu for Knights. Tahu held up from a Johns chip to the corner, manages to offload, Gidley offloads again to Tahu who scores right in the corner. Johns, from the sideline, hits the post and misses. Knights 44-0
55th min: NEWS - The Melbourne side are having no luck breaking through the solid Newcastle defence. A few tired looking players out on the field
58th min: TRY - Bai for Storm. The drought finally broken for the Storm, with scrum close to the line. Great pass from Slater for Bai to dot down out wide. Orford gets a difficult kick. Knights 44-6
60th min: TRY - Orford for Storm. Johns missing a tackle on Orford, lets the Storm halfback bust through and side step O'Davis to score under the posts. He then converts his own try. Knights 44-12
63rd min: TRY - Ross for Storm. Offloading at will, the Storm are fighting back. With a chip into the ingoal, Ross in his comeback game, is there unopposed to score. Orford gets the conversion. Knights 44-18
66th min: TRY - Moule for Storm. Knights guilty of falling asleep, have let the Melbourne players get a glimmer of hope. Moule gets a beauty pass to cross the line. Orford slots another conversion. Knights 44-24
78th min: TRY - Moule for Storm. Tired Knights defence could not keep up with the Storm attack spreading the ball out wide for Moule to get his second try tonight. Orford misses his first kick. Knights 44-28
FULL TIME: Unbelieveable second half, which belonged to the Storm. The old clich?, a game of 2 halves rang true tonight.