Melbourne's graveyard claims Novocastrian victims

After being upset by the Warriors at home, the Storm helped AAMI Park reclaim its title of the Graveyard making minced meat out of their Newcastle visitors, defeating the Knights 42 points to 12.

The referees had their work cut out for them early with an ill disciplined start to the game causing several whistle blows, the first positive one came in the 8th minute courtesy of a try to Newcastle Winger Akuila Uate. Melbourne hit back quickly with a try to forward Bryan Norrie in the 13th minute, Cameron Smith's boot levelled the scores.

Melbourne soon hit the lead with a try to Beau champion in the 18th minute and a conversion from Smith putting them six points ahead. Newcastle soon hit back in kind returning serve with a try to Matt Hilder in the 26th minute. Gidley's conversion put scores level.

The referee had a big involvement in the play that followed before an Akuila Uate air swing gifted Anthony Quinn a try. Cameron Smith converted to give Melbourne a six point lead they took to half time. Newcastle on the other hand took an injury to captain Gidley into the interval.

Newcastle had a good chance to hit back early in the second 40 and were helped by repeat sets, but not helped by their failure to ground the ball.  Two minutes later Melbourne were disallowed a try on the same grounds and it wasn't till the 58th minute when the next points were allowed.  These through a try to Matt Duffie in the corner and a great conversion from captain Smith.

Billy Slater capped off his wonderful night by scoring a four pointer of his own in the 72nd minute, completing the Melbourne backline dominance of the scoreboard with tries to their number 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.  This try gave Smith his easiest conversion of the night which he nailed with ease giving Melbourne an insurmountable lead of 36 - 12 with 8 minutes left to play.

Melbourne weren't done disposing of their Novocastrian guests and put their final nail in the coffin in the 76th minute with a try to former Knights player Todd Lowrie, Smith converted it before coming off the field for an early shower helping Melbourne to a 42 to 12 victory over the Knights.


Match Details
Melbourne Storm 42 defeated Newcastle Knights 12
National Rugby League - Round 8 - Saturday April 30, 2011 7:30pm
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Referee: Jason Robinson and Chris James
Video Referee: Bernard Sutton
Touch Judges: Steve Chiddy and Luke Potter
Crowd: 9,460
Halftime: Melbourne Storm 18 Newcastle Knights 12

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Billy Slater (1 Try)
2 Points - Cameron Smith (7 Conversions)
1 Point - Chris Houston

MELBOURNE STORM (42)
Tries: Todd Lowrie, Billy Slater, Beau Champion, Bryan Norrie, Anthony Quinn, Dane Nielsen, Matt Duffie
Conversions: Cameron Smith (7/7)

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (12)
Tries: Matt Hilder, Akuila Uate
Conversions: Kurt Gidley (2/2)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good Evening and welcome to AAMI Park for this round 8 clash between the Melbourne Storm and the Newcastle Knights. Melbourne will be wanting to hit back at the graveyard after their surprise loss last Monday at the hands of the Warriors. Melbourne took out the under 20s game here 46 - 12.
TEAM NEWS: No news from either side as both are the named 1 - 17. Just one superficial change for Melbourne who will start Adam Woolnough against his former club, moving Jesse Bromwich to start from the bench.
1 min: Melbourne kick off and Newcastle bring the ball out for the opening set of the match.
1 min: Good kick, but Slater does a good job getting to it to bring it out.
2 min: PENALTY to the Storm, great opportunity for Melbourne here early.
3 min: Widdop puts in a great kick, Newcastle hands get to it first and they knock it on, to give the Storm a scrum 10 metres out. Melbourne right on the attack.
4 min: Slater kicks early in the tackle count and forces a line drop out for another repeat set.
5 min: Forward pass, the weight of Melbourne's possession comes to nothing as they turn it over cheaply.
6 min: PENALTY against the Storm, all offside, right in front, Newcastle opt to play it.
7 min: Some superb defence in this set, great tackle from Proctor to stop Junior Sau.
9 min: TRY
TRY to the Knights! Mullen finds a way through the defence putting Uate in to score. Conversion from Gidley successful.
Newcastle Knights 6-0
11 min: Error, and Newcastle hand Melbourne an opportunity to hit back about 20 metres out from their line.
12 min: Great last tackle play from Melbourne, and Newcastle hands knock it on to give Melbourne 6 again right in front.
14 min: TRY
TRY to Melbourne! Lovely flat ball from Cameron Smith to Bryan Norrie who surges through to score. Smith converts.
6 all
15 min: Good set from Melbourne, Uate does very well picking up the Smith boot at the back.
16 min: Newcastle make good metres in response before returning the ball to Melbourne.
17 min: Knock down by Newcastle hands and Melbourne get 6 again about 20 out.
19 min: TRY
TRY to the Storm! Cronk to Proctor, Proctor offloads to Champion and he angles a run to score close to the posts. Smith Converts.
Melbourne Storm 12-6
21 min: Strong set from Melbourne, great boot from Smith at the end of it, makes difficult work for Newcastle to get it out.
22 min: Good metres from Newcastle in the set, great boot, but even better take from Billy Slater
22 min: Cameron Smith kicks early in the count, looking for a 40/20 doesn't have the right angle on it but a great kick, hard work for McDonald to bring out.
23 min: PENALTY against Melbourne for holding down.
24 min: Huge intercept from Quinn, but the touch judge calls him back saying offside PENALTY.
26 min: TRY
TRY to the Knights! Soft try to Hilder from dummy half, some weak defence marking him. Kurt Gidley converts easily to level the scores.
12 all
27 min: Shocking play the ball from Paterson to hand the ball over Melbourne for a chance to hit back.
28 min: Not a great last tackle option from Melbourne who hand it back and follow that with giving Newcastle a peggy back down field through a PENALTY.
29 min: Poor play the ball and a knock on to hand the ball back to Melbourne.
30 min: PENALTY to Melbourne 30 out.
31 min: Another PENALTY to Melbourne, this for a strip.
VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Melbourne TRY.
32 min: NO TRY! After about 30 replays the call is that he was held up.
32 min: PENALTY ro Melbourne on tackle four, who have been camped in the Newcastle 20
33 min: Another PENALTY to Melbourne and Mullen is put on report for a dangerous tackle.
35 min: TRY
TRY to Melbourne! Crossfield kick from Cronk, Uate has an air swing and Quinn is gifted the try. Conversion from Smith successful.
Melbourne Storm 18-12
36 min: Naqama's boot goes out on the fly, courtesy of a great play from Duffie catching it with one foot out the sideline.
37 min: Bromwhich drops the ball to let a very tired looking Newcastle off the hook.
37 min: Gidley looks to have a shoulder injury, running away from the trainer but looking to have some real problems with it.
38 min: Some great attacking plays in that set, but Newcastle defence does well to keep Melbourne out.
39 min: Kidley in plenty of pain, can't even see out the half and Newcastle are forced to make the interchange.
40 min: Naqama knocks it on to give Melbourne one last play for the halfNaqama knocks it on to give Melbourne one last play for the half.
40 min: Melbourne does not do much with it and the half time hooter blows, Melbourne ahead 18 - 12.
41 min: Players out and the whistle has blown - game back on!
41 min: Melbourne work it out in the first set, but an easy return for Newcastle at the end of it.
42 min: Bomb from Mullen is met by superb reflexes from Billy Slater.
43 min: Melbourne work it up beautifully and they have their work cut out for them getting it out from here.
44 min: Great defensive set from Melbourne, who can't even get their kick in, a great tackle from Smith forces Newscastle to turn it over about 30 out from their own line.
45 min: Loose pass went to ground, McDonald pounces on it to get his side off the hook.
45 min: PENALTY to Newcastle to get them off their tryline.
46 min: Another PENALTY to Newcastle to piggy back them further upfield.
VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Newcastle TRY.
47 min: NO TRY! Knock on, so a 20 metre restart for Melbourne.
48 min: PENALTY to Meblourne, a great opportunity for them to attack here.
VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Melbourne TRY.
49 min: After many replays, NO TRY! 20 metre restart, Cronk definitely did not ground it and no foul play will award the ball to Melbourne.
51 min: Duffie in the air gives Champion an accidental knee in the face, not sure what all the replays were for but Duffie is eventually asked to play it.
51 min: Not a great set from Melbourne and an odd last tackle play gives NEwcastle good field position.
52 min: Forward pass call and Melbourne are awarded a scrum.
53 min: Better set from Melbourne and Newcastle have to work it out here.
54 min: End to end now, good kick, but Billy Slater with some beautiful hands at the back brings it out.
55 min: Melbourne boot it out to the other end of the field and Newcastel have to work it out.
56 min: Billy Slater slides along the ground to take a grubber, Melbourne's number one having a blinder tonight.
57 min: PENALTY to Melbourne to give them a wonderful opportunity at the line.
59 min: TRY
TRY to Melbourne! Slater creates an overlap, gives it to Quinn who gets it on to Duffie to score out wide. Beautiful conversion from Smith.
Melbourne Storm 24-12
60 min: Attempted 40/20 from Smith, but McDonald is fast and gets to it in time.
61 min: Mullen's boot goes into touch to give his side a bit of a breather walking out to the scrum 20 out from the Melbourne goal line.
62 min: Dane Neilson knocks it on off the back of the scrum and Newcastle get a scrum. Kurt Gidley still in the dressing sheds, does not look happy and does not likely to come back out tonight.
63 min: Sloppy work from Newcastle makes a meal of things to hand the ball back to Melbourne.
64 min: Smith has another crack at a 40/20 but it does not have the angle on it.
65 min: Interception from Widdop and Melbourne right on the attack.
67 min: TRY
TRY to Melbourne! Some suspect play in the lead up, but Dane Neilson beats defenders to score in the corner. Smith converts.
Melbourne Storm 30-12
68 min: Short kick off is too easy for Melbourne and they have it.
69 min: Melbourne knock it on on the last and Newcastle have it.
70 min: Boot is too deep from Mullen and Slater watches it over the dead ball line.
72 min: TRY
TRY to Slater! Cooper Cronk puts a boot in, Slater chases it and leaps in the air to grab it and put it down to score a well deserved try. Smith nails his easiest conversion of the night.
Melbourne Storm 36-12
73 min: No short kick off this time, but Melbourne took this with just as much ease.
75 min: TRY
TRY to the Storm. Slater spears though a hole from dummy half and gets the ball on to Bromwhich who gives it to Cronk, who gives it to Lowrie to score. Another easy conversion for Smith is easily slotted and he comes off the field for an early shower.
Melbourne Storm 42-12
76 min: Cooper Cronk knocks on the kick off and Newcastle are given a consolation sniff.
77 min: Ball touched by Melbourne hands and Newcastle get six again ten metres out.
77 min: Mullen throws a shocking pass and Melbourne have it.
78 min: A huge break from Melbourne in the set, but Widdop tries a grubber which is easily collected by Newcastle.
79 min: Sau races away on a half break, but does not have the support and is stopped.
79 min: Newcastle hand it back to Melbourne with an error.
80 min: Cronk boots the ball into touch and noone is interested in a scrum, but Newcastle players eventually force one with 14 seconds on the clock.
80 min: Newcastle get in one play before the hooter blows and the graveyard disposes of another victim with this 42 - 12 victory over Newcastle.

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