Storm overcome plucky Knights

NEWCASTLE were gallant but ultimately not quite good enough as they suffered a 28-20 loss to Melbourne at AAMI Park tonight.

Despite the absence of Jarrod Mullen and Darius Boyd the Knights pushed the Storm all the way but lacked polish to the end of their sets to mount any real pressure.

Former Knights captain Andrew Johns told Triple M after the game he felt the Knights will do it tough in coming weeks.

"I just think they're really going to struggle until Jarrod Mullen and Darius Boyd come back."

Ill-discipline was the major factor in the Knights demise as they found themselves on the receiving end of a 15-8 penalty count with many of Melbourne's six tries coming off the back of repeat sets.

Newcastle started the match in enterprising fashion and opened the scoring through Jeremy Smith in their first venture down the Storm's end of the field.

For the first five minutes they didn't touch the ball but their defence on their own line refused to buckle and the only points came via a Cameron Smith penalty goal.

The turning point in the opening half came via a Joey Leilua error as the Knights lost possession on the first tackle from a scrum on halfway.

Melbourne winger Sisa Waqa raced 60 metres to score after centre Mahe Fonua scooped up the ball to send him on an unimpeded race to the tryline.

It was the start of three tries in six minutes which saw the Storm overturn a six-point deficit into a 10-point lead heading into the break.

In the shadows of halftime Knights interchange forward Alex McKinnon was taken off on a stretcher after getting into an awkward position where he landed head first into the AAMI Park turf.

Storm forward Jordan McLean was placed on report for the tackle and will face a nervous wait to see if any charges come out from the match review committee tomorrow.

The Storm extended their lead moments after the break through winger Young Tonumaipea who outleapt Akuila Uate to score in the corner.

But the plucky Knights weren't to be denied and scored two quick tries to Uate to close the gap to 24-20 with 10 minutes to play.

Ultimately it would be further ill-discipline which handed Melbourne more field position and Cameron Smith secured the points when he dived over from close range.

Storm halfback Cooper Cronk told Fox Sports after the game his side still had plenty of work to do.

"We're playing decent football but not Storm football.

"We played pretty well tonight but gave them a sniff. It's good to get the points."


Match Details
Melbourne Storm 28 Newcastle Knights 20
Venue: AAMI Park
Crowd: 11,490
Halftime Score: Melbourne Storm 18 Newcastle Knights 10

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:

3 points - Jesse Bromwich

2 points - Cameron Smith

1 point - Beau Scott

MELBOURNE STORM (28)
Tries: Cameron Smith, Sisa Waqa, Kevin Proctor, Will Chambers, Young Tonumaipea
Field Goals:
Conversions: Cameron Smith (3/5)
Penalty Goals: Cameron Smith (1/1)

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (20)
Tries: Jeremy Smith, Akuila Uate (2)
Field Goals:
Conversions: Kurt Gidley (1/2), Tyrone Roberts (1/1)
Penalty Goals: Kurt Gidley (1/1), Tyrone Roberts (1/1)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

Good evening footy fans and welcome to AAMI Park in Melbourne for the culmination of round 3 in the Telstra Premiership. It's the Storm and the Knights as the Novocastrians look for their first win of the season.

In team news it is expected the Storm will be 1-17 as named last Tuesday with Chris Houston and Travis Waddell rumoured to be dropping off the Knights bench for hooker Adam Clydsdale and back rower David Fa'alogo. Once we have confirmation we will let you know.

Confirmation from Melbourne sees the Storm 1-17. For the Knights, Willie Mason drops back to the bench for David Fa'alogo who starts and Adam Clydsdale comes onto the bench for Travis Waddell.

Fulltime at AAMI Park in the NYC curtain raiser and the Knights have racked up the half century and disposed of the Storm 50-0.

The Knights head out onto AAMI Park led by Kurt Gidley. They'll kick off and head to the southern end of the ground.

1: Kurt Gidley gets us underway!

1: PENALTY Storm. Jeremy Smith ruled to have gotten Norrie into a dangerous position.

2: PENALTY Storm. Newcastle offside through Fa'alogo.

3: Norrie slow to his feet after being hit in a tackle from Kurt Gidley.

3: PENALTY Storm. Gidley ruled to have hit Norrie in the head.

4: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL MELBOURNE STORM
Penalty goal attempt by Cameron Smith successful.

Smith adds the two from in front to open the scoring.

5: Cronk puts boot to ball and the Knights finally get their hands on the ball through Minto.

6: PENALTY Knights. Hoffman in front of Cronk but makes the tackle.

7: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Jeremy Smith. Kick to come.

Jeremy Smith scores the first try for the Knights after Dobson's kick bounces off the upright.

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

Kurt Gidley adds the extras from alongside the posts.

10: Roberts goes to the air and Slater takes the bomb well before running into a solid tackle from Gidley.

11: Slater throws a wayward pass which misses Waqa but finds Tonumaipea.

13: Slater looks for a penalty which isn't forthcoming and then Fonua puts the ball down. Knights on the attack.

14: Leilua gets on the outside of his man and drags his winger in before passing to McManus who can't get a handle on the ball otherwise he would have scored.

14: PENALTY Storm. Knights taking too long getting off the tackled player.

15: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Storm try.

15: No try from Jordan McLean who loses the ball trying to put it on the tryline. Newcastle scrum.

16: PENALTY Knights. Uate hit in a tackle which went a bit high according to the referees,

17: PENALTY Knights. Bromwich and Fonua get Rochow into a dangerous position.

18: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Penalty goal attempt by Kurt Gidley successful.

Gidley puts the Knights out by a converted try with a 20m attempt at goal just to the left of the posts.

20: Roberts kicks early in the tackle count which finds Waqa on the full on his own 20m.

21: Cronk is hit after putting boot to ball but the referees rule play on despite the boos from the Melbourne crowd.

22: Cronk tries to put Slater through back on the inside with a no-look pass which goes to ground. Knights scrum on halfway.

23: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Melbourne try.

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

Leilua comes up with an error on the first tackle as he looked to get the pass away. Fonua scooped up the loose ball before passing to Waqa who raced 60m to score.

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

Smith locks us up with a successful conversion from beside the posts.

26: The Storm shift the ball to the left and race down the touchline before Gidley in an offside position dives on a loose ball. Melbourne on the attack.

27: PENALTY Storm. Fonua has the ball stolen in a two-man tackle as he looked to stretch out.

28: Hampton grubbers into the in-goal before Gagai picks up the ball and is hit in what looks like a high tackle. Knights dropout.

30: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Kevin Proctor. Kick to come.

Proctor puts the Storm back in front by running onto a sublime pass from Cronk. The halfback held up the ball until the last minute and Proctor went through untouched.

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

Smith puts the Storm out by a converted try.

32: PENALTY Storm. McKinnon makes a second effort in the tackle.

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

Chambers this time gets on the scoresheet after some paper thin defending by the Knights right edge in Gagai and Uate.

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

Smith pulls the conversion attempt to the right of the posts.

36: Cronk chips for Slater who gets the bounce but he can't quite hang onto possession. Knights scrum.

37: Minto fires a pass to Uate who can't hang onto the ball. Melbourne scrum.

38: Waqa charges down the sideline and goes to hand the ball to Chambers who knocks on. Knights scrum.

39: PENALTY Knights. Cronk offside.

40: PENALTY Knights. McKinnon upended in a dangerous tackle from Bromwich and the Novocastrian is in some trouble in the hands of the trainers.

40: All the precautions taking place here at AAMI Park as the trainers do their best to look after Alex McKinnon.

40: Alex McKinnon is stretchered off the AAMI Park playing surface to a generous round of applause.

40: PENALTY Knights. Jordan McLean is placed on report for the tackle which saw McKinnon put into a dangerous position.

40: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Penalty goal attempt by Tyrone Roberts successful.

Roberts adds the two from the penalty goal as the siren sounds.

40: Halftime at AAMI Park and the Storm lead the Knights 18-10 in an enthralling game of rugby league.

40: Newcastle back out onto AAMI Park and ready to go on without Alex McKinnon. When we have an update on his condition we'll let you know.

41: Second half action underway as Smith puts boot to ball.

41: Waqa blocks Leilua who raced through to try to put pressure on Slater.

41: PENALTY Storm. Knights offside from the kick.

43: Cronk dribbles a kick into the in-goal and Minto is claimed. Knights dropout.

44: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Young Tonumaipea. Kick to come.

Tonumaipea outleaps Uate to score in the corner after a perfectly weighted chip-bomb from Cronk.

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

Smith splits the uprights from out near the western touchline to extend the lead to 14.

47: The Storm run the ball down the right and Waqa is dragged into touch in a desperate tackle from Rochow.

49: PENALTY Knights. Fonua goes straight back through the play-the-ball.

50: Roberts grubbers into the in-goal and Slater bats it dead. Storm dropout.

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

Uate crosses for the Knights out wide after a perfectly weighted Roberts chip.

51: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Tyrone Roberts successful.

Roberts converts from the sideline to close the gap back to eight.

53: The Knights run the ball on the last and Roberts fired a pass meant to Uate but he was too flat and knocked the ball on. Storm scrum.

54: PENALTY Storm. Gidley ruled to have given the tackled player an unnecessary facial massage.

55: PENALTY Storm. Knights players hanging on for too long.

56: PENALTY Storm. Cuthbertson not square at marker.

57: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Storm try.

57: No try. Tonumaipea puts the ball down in the corner but the young winger puts his hand on the sideline. Knights scrum.

58: Minto's kick is charged down but he wins the race back to the ball and the Knights have six more.

59: Gidley chips into the corner and Waqa has possession 10m from his own line.

60: Minto and Uate nearly collide before Uate takes the ball back 30m downfield.

60: PENALTY Knights. Uate earns his side another set in Melbourne territory.

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

Uate scores his second to get the Knights to within four after a superb ball from Dobson to Gagai who then flick passed to his winger as he approached Slater.

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

Gidley pulls the conversion to the left from the sideline. Big final 18 minutes coming up.

64: Dobson kicks to Slater who finds Tonumaipea who is hit in a solid tackle from Beau Scott.

65: Uate takes Smith's bomb very well under pressure.

66: PENALTY Storm. Gidley and Dobson ruled to have worked the tackled player on the ground.

66: PENALTY Storm. Leilua hangs out an arm as Fonua went to step off his right foot. Storm on the attack.

67: TRY MELBOURNE STORM
Scored by Cameron Smith. Kick to come.

Smith dives over from close range to perhaps secure the two points for the Storm tonight.

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

Smith can't add the extras from alongside the posts.

70: Beau Scott throws a wayward pass out the back which is knocked on by the Storm. Knights scrum.

71: Roberts chips in behind Tonumaipea again but Uate can't get the bounce. Storm scrum.

72: Good defence from the Knights edge sees Uate and Gagai combine to put Hampton into touch. Knights scrum on halfway.

73: The Knights run the ball on the last and Scott is caught in possession. Knights handover.

74: Smith kicks out of dummy half into the corner and Minto knocks on. Storm scrum.

75: Smith grubbers off the post and Clydsdale dives on the loose ball.

77: PENALTY Storm. Slater is taken out as he chased the kick through.

78: Slater kicks in behind Uate and Minto wins the race to the ball to kick it dead.

79: PENALTY Storm. Leilua bundles Fonua out of the way.

80: The Knights dive on the loose ball through Beau Scott.

80: Roberts weaves his way across field before he throws the ball into touch.

80: Fulltime at AAMI Park and the Storm have run out 28-20 winners over the Knights.

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