Fulltime score: Round 1 STORM 48 v KNIGHTS 10
It was a less than ideal result for Knights' skipper Andrew Johns, playing his comeback match after missing most of 2004 after injuring his knee.
The Storm comprehensively outplayed the Knights, running nine tries to two, full back Billy Slater bagging a hat-trick while half back Matt Orford scored a double.
After posying a 22-0 lead at halftime, Melbourne increased their lead to 32-0 before the Knights finally got on the scoreboard in the 59th minute.
Score details: STORM 48 Tries: B Slater 3, M Orford 2, R Hoffman, J Webster, B White, C Cronk Goals: Orford 4/7, Geyer 2/2 KNIGHTS 10 Tries: D Cooper 2 Goals: Johns 1/2
Olympic Park Melbourne Referee: Steve Clark
By the clock: PROGRAM CHANGES: Storm - as per program Knights - 18 Daniel ABRAHAM replaces 17 Daniel TOLAR
PRE-MATCH: As NRL Sunday continues, fans continue to come through the gates at a very hot and steamy Olympic Park Melbourne this afternoon. Kick-off is not too far off - bring on the footy!
0 min: Kick-off at Olympic! Temperature gauge pushing 35 degrees centigrade in Melbourne.
2 min: NEWS- Carmont has knocked Orford down following an in-play kick, Orford is down. Play continues as Orford gets to his feet. Score stands at 0-0.
6 min: TRY- Storm. Ryan Hoffman goes in for Melbourne, untouched in the end. Try converted by M Orford. Storm 6-0.
8 min: Brilliant 40-20 kick for the Storm puts them in superb field position.
10 min: TRY- Storm. Jake Webster is on the end of a wonderful wide movement after the Storm were held up over the line. Great start from the Victorian troopers. Conversion missed from Orford. Storm 10-0.
12 min: TRY- Storm. Billy Slater gets his first of many in a runaway try for Melbourne right from the start of play. Orford converts, Storm now 16-0.
22 min: The game is now evening out a little, however the Storm continue to dominate in unbearably hot conditions.
25 min: Storm defence still holding as Knights begin to exhaust attacking options close to the line. Score remains Storm 16-0.
35 min: TRY- Storm. Slater bags a double after the viedo referee check for him being onside from a Matt King left foot kick. Knights looking dead and buried already. Orford converts and now Storm are up 22-0.
38 min: NO TRY- Ball ruled to be grounded on the line - Knights get 20 metre restart as a result. Storm lead 22-0.
40 min: Some exciting play to finish off the half from both sides but no points.
44 min: SIN BIN- Knights. King makes a break for Storm, Hughes and Hall drag him down. Hall is injured in the process while from the ensuing play the ball Hughes commits a professional foul. Newcastle now with 12 men for 10 minutes. Storm 22 Knights Nil.
45 min: TRY- Storm. Brett White bullocks over, reaches out, and scores on debut. Orford converts and Newcastle fans look ready to pack up and hit the road. Storm 28-0.
46 min: TRY- Storm. Orford goes over and then fails to convert his own very easy try. Storm 32-0.
51 min: Storm just running rings around the Knights at the moment, simple effective footy being played at the moment.
59 min: TRY- Knights. Dustin Cooper scores as a result of some perseverence and patience football from Newcastle close to the Storm line. Johns' conversion goes wide and Newcastle now trail 32-4.
63 min: TRY- Knights. Cooper double. Newcastle adding some more respectability to their score as Johns seems to be coming into his own. Johns converts beautifully and the score now goes to Storm 32-10.
67 min: TRY- Storm. Orford gets his second for Melbourne, getting around Johns to put it down. Conversion failed - Storm now quash any miracle comeback thoughts and lead 36-10.
72 min: NO TRY- Cooper denied a hat-trick after the video ref rules he took out the corner post before grounding. Storm still lead 36-10.
76 min: TRY- Storm. Slater grabs his hat-trick with an Origin-04-esque try close to the posts. Geyer converts and Storm up 42-10 now.
79 min: TRY-Storm. Cronk gets one with a minute to go. Geyer converts and the Storm will finish just two points short of 50, and rise to the top of the ladder as a result. Storm 48-10.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - M Orford (Storm) 2 - B Slater (Storm) 1 - D Cooper (Knights) -----------------------------------------Like