Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
5 hours ago
Melbourne kept Newcastle scoreless in the second half to come from behind to snatch a hard road victory from the Knights.
Newcastle got off to a rapid start with Akuila Uate, made a blistering run down the sideline and a few plays later scored in the corner. Dureau added to the advantage with a penalty goal four minutes later. Adam MacDougall touched down after a good Mullen pass to increase the lead to 14 after twenty-five minutes. Melbourne started their comeback through the younger MacDougall who showed his older brother he can also score tries.
The second half was more of an arm-wrestle for most of it's duration, with Newcastle having several attacking raids on Melbourne's line but were repelled everytime. Melbourne finally got their chance though Brett Finch who busted the Newcastle defensive line and passed it onto Dane Nielsen and strolled over the match winner. Newcastle had several attempts to try and snatch the game from Melbourne but their defence held strong.
Cameron Smith slotted a final penalty goal, after a failed Newcastle short goal line dropout, extingushed Newcastles hopes and kept their unbeaten start to the year alive. Next week Melbourne travel west to take on the Penrith Panthers and Newcastle play the Manly Sea Eagles at BlueTongue stadium.
Match Details Newcastle Knights 14 were defeated by Melbourne Storm 20 National Rugby League - NRL - Round 2 - Saturday March 20, 2010 7:30pm Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium Referee: Steve Lyons and Alan Shortall Video Referee: Russell Smith Touch Judges: Dan Eastwood and Ricky MacFarlane Crowd: 16242 Halftime: Newcastle Knights Newcastle Knights 14 Melbourne Storm Melbourne Storm 12
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Cameron Smith (2 Conversions, 2 Penalty Goals)
2 Points - Jarrod Mullen
1 Point - Billy Slater
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (14)
Tries: Adam MacDougall, Akuila Uate
Conversions: Wes Naiqama (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Wes Naiqama (1/1)
MELBOURNE STORM (20)
Tries: Luke MacDougall, Anthony Quinn, Dane Nielsen
Conversions: Cameron Smith (2/3)
Penalty Goals: Cameron Smith (2/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to a sunny Energy Australia Stadium for tonight's clash between the Newcastle Knights and Melbourne Storm. Both teams are named as of the program.
1 min: Scott Dureau kicks us off for this clash tonight.
2 min: A sloppy end to a good opening set by the Knights who run it on last and manage to kick it eventually through Mullen.
3 min: Billy Slater jumps high for a Brett Finch bomb but knocks it on and it's a changeover to the Knights.
5 min: Melbourne get the first penalty after Ben Cross interfered with the play the ball. They take it just into Newcastle's half.
6 min: Adam Blair hits a hole and attracts three defenders but loses the ball trying to get up to play the ball.
7 min: TRY
Newcastle spread the ball in their own half and get it to Uate who makes a long bust to start the set. Several plays later, he finishes it off and scores in the corner. Conversion attempt by Wes Naiqama successful.
Newcastle Knights 6-0
10 min: Straight off the first hit-up from the kick-off Ben Cross gets hit high and gets his team their first penalty.
11 min: PENALTY GOAL
Dureau takes a dart from dummyhalf and is tackled and draws the penalty and they decide to kick for two. Penalty goal attempt by Wes Naiqama successful.
Newcastle Knights 8-0
16 min: Billy Slater takes a good catch off the bomb and beats a few defenders, who then passes it to Quinn who draws a penalty from Newcastle.
17 min: Melbourne bomb a chance with Luke MacDougall dropping the ball and they compound it by giving away another penalty.
18 min: Jarrod Mullen trying to look for a hole throws the ball forward to Steve Simpson to let Melbourne off the hook.
20 min: Melbourne drop the ball coming out of their own area to allow Newcastle to increase their lead early in the game.
24 min: TRY
Anthony Quinn runs in allowing Jarrod Mullen to drift across the field and throw a cut-out pass to Adam MacDougall to score. Conversion attempt by Wes Naiqama successful.
Newcastle Knights 14-0
28 min: TRY
Melbourne respond with a try of their own with a quick play the ball off an Inglis tackle and spread it to the Madpup who gets Melbourne on the board. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith unsuccessful.
Newcastle Knights 14-4
30 min: Melbourne ruin a chance after a simple shepard is called and Newcastle get a break.
31 min: Scott Dureau throws a pass out to the wing but it's intercepted by Luke MacDougall's head and the call goes to the Storm!.
33 min: Newcastle again spread the ball from their own line but Steve Simpson throws a pass to nobody. Scrum to Melbourne.
34 min: TRY
Melbourne make Newcastle pay off a lovely backline movement out to Anthony Quinn who strolls over in the corner. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith Successful.
Newcastle Knights 14-10
36 min: Another reprieve from their own end after a flop from Newcastle.
37 min: Cameron Smith takes a run but is caught with a good tackle and loses the ball.
38 min: Melbourne get out of their end again with little effort after a penalty for working the player.
39 min: Wes Naiqama saves a try after playing at a grubber put through by Cameron Smith.
40 min: PENALTY GOAL
Melbourne get another chance after they recieve another penalty but opt for the peanlty goal. Cameron Smith kicks the easy goal to make the margin two at halftime.
Newcastle Knights 14-12
40 min: HALFTIME - Newcastle had a blistering start with the try to Uate but consistent penalties has let Melbourne get out of their own end easily and close the gap.
41 min: Cameron Smith gets the game back underway in the second half.
44 min: Wes Naiqama makes a cruical one on one strip on Nielson to save a certain try.
45 min: Matt Hilder drops the ball carrying it from his own end to give Melbourne another chance.
46 min: Melbourne continue to build the pressure after Corey Paterson is done for a grapple tackle and there is some afters but nothing too serious between the players.
46 min: Ryan Hinchcliffe throws it from dummy-half and it's deemed forward by the referee to relieve Newcastle of all the pressure.
50 min: Newcastle kick the ball and it rebounds straight off a Melbourne player and not played at. Melbourne try to kick it to Inglis but Mullen covers well.
54 min: Shannon McDonnell makes a good run coming from his own end, beating Slater and Inglis, getting a quick play the ball and a penalty for the Knights.
57 min: Newcastle drop the ball close to the Melbourne line but Dane Nielson drops it but their was no advantage.
59 min: Newcastle attack the line but they bomb it with the last pass being forward.
60 min: Inglis takes the ball up but is hit hard by Ben Cross and dislodges the ball to give Newcastle a golden opportunity.
61 min: Scott Dureau throws a hospital pass to Steve Simpson who drops the ball, allowing Melbourne a reprieve.
62 min: A silly error by the Storm as the ball is passed by Finch and touched by Slater onto Todd Lowrie's head. Newcastle with another attacking set.
64 min: Newcastle try to hit the edges of Melbourne but they are swamped by Storm defenders who take Uate over the sideline.
65 min: Adam Blair strikes at Ben Cross with his forearm as he falls to the ground and he stays down and recieves the penalty to give Newcastle another chance at the line.
65 min: Newcastle kick it crossfield where Melbourne bat it down but to another player of theirs and it's deemed to be offside.
67 min: Newcastle waste another opportunity at the Storm line when Steve Simpson drops it on the second play.
68 min: Newcastle recieve another penalty but again waste the set, kicking the ball dead, allowing Melbourne to go back out to the 20.
72 min: TRY
Brett Finch bursts through the Newcastle line and passes to Nielsen who palms off one player and scores right under the sticks. Conversion attempt by Cameron Smith successful.
Melbourne Storm 18-14
75 min: Newcastle run the ball on the last and throw it wide to Adam MacDougall who is gathered up by the defenders and has to give up the ball.
77 min: Newcastle throw it wide again but it's knocked down by the winger and Newcastle will have another chance to level the score.
78 min: Uate leaps high to try and grab the ball but only gets a hand to the ball and knocks it dead.
79 min: Shannon McDonnell tries to gather a grubber from the in-goal but drops it. Newcastle tries the short dropout but it doesn't go ten and the Storm will take the penalty kick.
80 min: PENALTY GOAL
FULLTIME - Cameron Smith calmly slots the penalty to make the final score 20-14. A marvellous effort after Newcastle came out firing.
Melbourne Storm 20-14