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Melbourne have handed down a thumping to an injury depleted Newcastle Knights winning 46-6.
The Storm hit the lead just three minutes into the match when a Kearney ball found a flying Robbie Ross. Shortly after Matt Orford intercepted a kick from Rudder and passed onto Billy Slater who sped away into the distance.
A penalty goal then two tries in the space of two minutes assured the Storm of a commanding lead going into the second half. Orford had a hand in both tries delivering balls that put both Kearney and Bell over the line.
Going into halftime the Knights would?ve been drained of any confidence they had going into the match. They had failed to convert pressure into points early on and without Johns their last tackle options were poor.
Newcastle tried to play catch up football early in the second half but their handling let them down. In the 56th minute Melbourne finally made their move in one of the tries of the season. From a kick return Ross ran the ball across field linking up with Slater. Slater sent the ball onto Langi who stumbled through the line and passed back to Slater. What followed was an exhibition of pure pace as the Melbourne speedster sped down the sideline then left Mark Hughes all ends up going in under the posts.
The try opened the flood gates as the Storm scored two more tries in quick succession. Kearney made a huge bust that eventually saw Orford find his way over the line. The Storm halfback then got himself back into the action again passing to Kidwell who stretched out to score.
Newcastle got a consolation late in the game through Jobson but the Storm had the final say when Smith went in under the posts right on fulltime.
In the end Newcastle looked very poor with no Andrew Johns and a string of injuries. Their notable standout was captain Matt Parsons. It was all one way traffic though as the Storms forwards did the hard yards and Orford had a blinder on the back of their efforts.
League Unlimited?s Player of the Year Awards: 3 ? M Orford (Storm) 2 ? S Kearney (Storm) 1 ? B Slater (Storm)
Scorers: STORM Tries: Slater 2, Ross, Kearney, Bell, Orford, Kidwell, Smith Goals: Orford 6/8, Smith 1/1 KNIGHTS Tries: Jobson Goals: Abraham 1/1
By the clock: 0 min: Kickoff!
3rd min: TRY - Storm. Steve Kearny at his best offloads a fantastic ball to Robbie Ross to run in under the posts. Matt Orford successfully converts - Storm 6-0.
11th min: NEWS - Newcastle look to be struggling on last tackle options without the guidence of Johns. They have however managed to get some repeat sets and build some pressure.
13th min: TRY - Storm. A poor kick from Rudder went straight into the arms of Orford who proceeded to break the Newcastle line. Ordford knowing he didn't have the legs passed to the speedster Billy Slater who scored. Ordord successfully converts - Storm 12-6.
16th min: PENALTY GOAL - Newcastle gives away a penalty out in front for a player making a late tackle on Orford after the kick. Orford slots the two points - Storm 14-0.
26th min: NEWS - The games just settling down now. The Knights are still struggling on their last tackle options with Buderus taking on the kicking duties. They just look tired and predictable.
29th min: TRY - Storm. Orford puts Kearney into a huge gap for an easy try. Orford converts from out in front - Storm 20-0.
30th min: TRY - Storm. Orford having a great night delivers a beautiful cut out ball to put Bell over the line. Matt Orford's kick doesn't have the legs - Storm 24-0.
Halftime: Newcastle have looked a shambles at times without Johns and a massive injury toll. They will regret not being able to convert early pressure into points. Melbourne only kicked on from that point and Orford has been instrumental in setting up 3 of the 4 storm tries - Storm 24-0.
41st min: The second half is under way!
50th min: NEWS - Time is ticking away for Newcastle if their to be a chance of winning this match. Errors are starting to cost them as they try to play catch up football.
56th min: TRY - Storm. One of the best tries you'll see this season. Ross on a kick return ran the ball across field and linked up with Slater who passed onto Langi. Langi stumbled through the line but got a ball away to Slater who streaked down the sideline. He then made a fool of the Newcastle fullback Mark Hughes, eventually scoring under the posts through pure speed. Orford is successful in his conversion - Storm 30-0.
57th min: TRY - Storm. Kearney bulldozes through the line and passes onto Ross who then gives the ball away to Orford to score another brilliant Melbourne try. Orford successfully converts - Storm 36-0.
61st min: TRY - Storm. The Storm and Orford are just running wild now. Orford went to the line and gave a beautiful ball to Kidwell who reached out to score. Orford is unsuccessful in his conversion attempt - Storm 40-0.
68th min: TRY - Knights. Jobson scores a great try off some good work from Rudder to get Newcastle on the scoreboard. Abraham is successful with the conversion - Storm 40-6.
79th min: TRY - Storm. Glenn Turner sends a good ball onto Smith who pauses then runs straight under the posts to score at the death for Melbourne. Smith is successful with the conversion - Storm 46-6.
Fulltime: The Storm have put in a dominant performance tonight. Newcastle depleted by injury will head back home with their tail between their legs. Final Score - Storm 46-6.