Knights leave it late to weather Storm

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.


Match Details
Newcastle Knights 32 Melbourne Storm 30
Venue: Hunter Stadium
Crowd: 14904
Halftime Score: Newcastle Knights 10 Melbourne Storm 16

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Sisa Waqa
2 points - Kurt Gidley
1 point - Kade Snowden

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (32)
Tries: Chris Houston, Tyrone Roberts, Chanel Mata'utia, Dane Gagai, Travis Waddell, Akuila Uate
Conversions: Kurt Gidley (4/6)

MELBOURNE STORM (30)
Tries: Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa (4), Will Chambers
Conversions: Cameron Smith (3/6)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

TEAM CHANGES:

NEW: More changes than a catwalk model, for the Knights this afternoon. The two big changes are Jarrod Mullen and Beau Scott are out! Kurt Gidley shuffles into the halves and Chris Houston the pack respectively. Gidley's vacant fullback spot, is taken by Sione Mata'utia, while the hookers swap starting positions.

MEL: A single change for them. Jordan McLean has failed to get over his injury, so Junior Moors comes onto the bench.

Welcome everyone, to the first game of a Super Saturday that will do more kilometres than a City to Surf runner. First up, we have Newcastle hosting the Melbourne Storm. Newcastle are out of the finals race, looking to restore some pride before 2014 ends also impressing whoever their impending coach will be. For the Storm, it has clicked in recent weeks, so they will be looking to continue the form that saw them comfortable winners, over the Tigers last Monday night.

Here come the visitors, Melbourne to the booing of the Newcastle public, standard for the traveling sides. They are in their white away jersey and will kick off this afternoon. They are followed by the home side, with Chris Houston, playing his 150th NRL game, leading them out, as they take residence, waiting to receive the kick-off.

1: KICK-OFF! Here we go! Knights ruck it out.

2: Some early intention from the Storm. Ben Roberts going through the line and trying to position Koroibete with the kick. Mata'utia, with the clean-up.

6: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Billy Slater. Kick to come.

They threatened twice in the earlier sets but were incisive this time. Cronk's pass put Proctor into space, the rangy backrower taking it to the fullback before sending his custodian in, for the opening score.

7: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

An easy assignment and two points for Smith.

11: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Sisa Waqa. Kick to come.

Blink and you'll miss it! Roberts tried throwing the cut-out to Chanel Mata'utia but it was gobbled up by Waqa who just strolled, ball in one hand towards the try-line.

12: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

An easy two points again for Smith.

14: PENALTY Newcastle - Ryan Hoffman was stuck in a game of twister with a Knights defender.

15: Roberts tries kicking for his winger after the intercept when he put it through hands. Billy Slater was there to take the ball and earn the PENALTY for a tackle in the air.

16: PENALTY Knights - blocking. Can the Knights make use of these starts..

17: PENALTY Knights - Koroibete screamed in to take Gagai, going high.. referees waved play-on before the Storm strip it 2-on-1.

17: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Joseph Leilua makes an unforced error.

It is quite clunky from the Knights, they eyed the space, Roberts tried giving early ball to Leilua but it was behind the centre.

22: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Chris Houston. Kick to come.

TRY-TIME for the 150 gamer! Quick hands gave Uate the space, the winger fended off Koroibete, before stepping inside and delivering the easy points to Houston.

23: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful.

Kurt Gidley with his first conversion of the night, pots it over.

24: More easy passage for the Knights, as the Storm concede another PENALTY.

25: VIDEO REFEREE: Tyrone Roberts might have a TRY.. check contest and grounding.

25: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Tyrone Roberts. Kick to come.

GREEN LIGHTS..TRY! That was a circus trick from Tyrone Roberts! The kick was spilled by Chambers, Roberts gobbled it up, juggled it, kicked it but importantly got it down.

26: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley unsuccessful.

Gidley swings the conversion wide.

29: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Chris Houston makes an unforced error.

Koroibete was allowed to take the bomb and was wrapped up by his opposite before flinging a pass in hope, backwards, being knocked on by Houston.

32: PENALTY Storm - the ball was held in the scrum, forcing the Knights to unbind early.

34: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Marika Koroibete makes an unforced error.

Dear, oh dear, Storm with an error deep in their own half.

36: PENALTY Storm - Cronk chipped through for himself, tried to regather but was taken out by Roberts.

38: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Sisa Waqa. Kick to come.

A simple set play - Harris turned, offloaded to Slater then it was robotic reality, as Slater found Waqa who stepped inside and scored.

39: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith unsuccessful.

This is Smith's hardest assignment, from the sideline, can he make it 3/3? No he can't thanks to the post.

40: HALFTIME :: Melbourne lead 16-10 after coming out of the gates quickly.

40: We're back for the second half.. Knights to kick-off..

41: KICK-OFF! Here we go again!

44: A bit delayed but Tim Glasby is ON REPORT for an earlier hit on Mata'utia.

46: PENALTY Knights - Sione Mata'utia is caught high again by Tim Glasby.

47: PENALTY Knights! They will have an entire set on the Storm line.

48: VIDEO REFEREE: Chanel Mata'utia, in the thick of the action, might have a TRY.

48: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Chanel Mata'utia. Kick to come.

GREEN LIGHTS..TRY! The winger got airborne and got the ball down.

49: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley unsuccessful.

A tough one for Gidley to level things here.. he couldn't swing it over.

51: VIDEO REFEREE: Waqa might have his hat-trick, checking grounding.

51: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Sisa Waqa. Kick to come.

GREEN LIGHTS..TRY! That was a good spin and grab, from Waqa.. he just got it inside the touchline.

52: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith unsuccessful.

This to put the Storm ahead by eight, Cameron Smith from the sideline.. sprays it.

55: PENALTY Knights - Roberts went around, his own player.

56: VIDEO REFEREE: Kade Snowden tries to burrow in, checking grounding.

56: RED LIGHTS..NO TRY! Snowden was held up by Slater. Changeover.

57: UNFORCED ERROR MELBOURNE STORM
Ben Roberts makes an unforced error.

Roberts with a good run, undone by an error.

61: PENALTY Knights - the inside chasers were offside after Chambers second kick.

64: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Sione Mata'utia makes an unforced error.

Cooper Cronk with a great spiralling bomb, catches Mata'utia, who drops it.

65: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Will Chambers. Kick to come.

That was one from the right Chamber(s) as Will was struggling and struggling, until he got the ball down. His 50th NRL try as well.

67: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith unsuccessful.

Cameron Smith with a conversion, to make it a dozen the difference.. slightly in but can't convert.

68: PENALTY KNIGHTS - Roberts with a hip check.

69: PENALTY KNIGHTS - strip was after the tackle was completed.

71: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Dane Gagai. Kick to come.

Dane pulls a rabbit out of the hat there! From marker, goes himself and hoodwinks the defence.

72: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful.

Gidley makes it four the difference.

74: Great kick forced Slater to retrieve it right on his goal-line, Can the Knights pull off another upset.

77: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Sisa Waqa. Kick to come.

FOUR FOR WAQA! The winger has sealed the win here at Newcastle. He used some footwork, to decieve Mata'utia and Gagai to score.

77: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MELBOURNE STORM
Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

Cam Smith to make it ten.. puts it between the sticks.

77: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Travis Waddell. Kick to come.

WOW! Waddell with the one-on-one steal, to give us a grandstand finish.

79: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful.

Gidley rushes but puts it through.

80: PENALTY KNIGHTS - Cuthbertson was held and they continued to push.

80: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Akuila Uate. Kick to come.

NEWCASTLE SCORE! WOW! They shifted it left but were shutdown. Fifteen seconds to go.. to the right and Uate slides in.

80: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful.

Kurt Gidley has the kick to win it.. from the sideline. He is taking his time, putting it on the tee, looking up, once, twice.. here we go! Gidley steps in, hooks it over the posts! NEWCASTLE WIN!

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