Fulltime score: Round 21 Newcastle Knights 37 Melbourne Storm 18
Match summary: The crowd at EnergyAustralia Stadium were treated to the home side being right on the button tonight as they demolished Top Four contenders Melbourne Storm by an impressive 37-18.
Now making it 4 victories from 6 games, the Newcastle Knights have shown this evening that they are a team not to be taken lightly, and will cause a few upset amongst the top contenders in the competition.
Right from the onset tonight, the speed at which the Knights controlled the game and dictated the plays, had the Melbourne Storm on the back foot.
An early lead of 12-0 to the home side was never in danger of losing their lead, or losing the match. The halftime lead of 18-6 finishing off a top performance in the first half by Newcastle.
The Storm were continuously rattled and only individual brilliance by players saw them on the scoreboard. Slater at the back, was constantly pressured by the Newcastle defence, as was Hill in the halves.
The Knights halfback Johns, once again had a hand in every one of Newcastle's 6 tries. Support by his team mates right across the park will have the teams that they have to play for the rest of the season, taking notice, the Knights are back!
Knights v Storm match photos: Click here to see the photo gallery for this game
Scorers: NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS 37 Tries: Johns, Buderus 2, Perry, Salkeld, Quinn Goals: Johns 6/6. FG 1/1 MELBOURNE STORM 18 Tries: Slater, Scott, Cronk Goals: Smith 3/3
EnergyAustralia Stadium Crowd: 20,023 Referee: Shayne Hayne Half time: Knights 19-6
Live commentary: A big turnout in Newcastle for this evening's game. A rousing cheer for Johns after the news he's extended his contract with the Knights until 2008
0 min: Kick off!
3rd min: TRY - KNIGHTS Fittingly, Johns scores the first try of the night after the bomb he put up was read totally wrong by Webster for the Storm, allowing the Knights another set right in front of their posts. Quick hands and Johns is over by the posts. Try converted by Johns. Knights 6-0
8th min: TRY - KNIGHTS First set for the Storm and a mistake hands possession straight back to the home side. Hot on attack, Johns puts in the banana kick, hits the pads on the goal and Buderus flies through the defence to score. Johns converts. Knights 12-0
11th min: NO TRY - KNIGHTS Newcastle are running rampant much to the delight of the crowd. A penalty to the Knights hands the possession once more in a favourable position. Seage flies through a hole in the defence but loses the ball over the line. Knights 12-0
16th min: NO TRY - STORM 3 sets close to their line and the Storm heavy on attack. A final pass from Hill to Kearns is forward. The Knights hold on to their early lead
20th min: NEWS - The Storm starting to spring some sort of attack against the Newcastle defence. The Orford/Slater combination almost working however the ball hit the pad on the goalpost and bounced away from Slater. Matt Gidley returning to the season for the 1st time since Round 14 has to leave the field with a cut on his cheekbone. Knights lead 12-0
30th min: NEWS - The Melbourne side at times looks a little rattled by the speed Newcastle are playing the game at. The momentum still with the home side
32nd min: TRY - KNIGHTS The video ref is used to determine a short pass by Johns to get Perry over the line. The call goes back to Hayne who calls a try, benefit of the doubt. Johns converts from out in front. Knights 18-0
33rd min: NEWS - Slater (Storm) taken high by Newcastle winger Salkeld. Not placed on report but excellent field position for the Storm following the penalty
36th min: TRY - STORM A mistake by the Knights and the ball is scooped up by King 30 metres out from his line. Quick passing with a top notch inside ball for Slater by Kidwell, and Slater obliges, his strength helping over the line. Smith from wide out, converts. Knights 18-6
40th min: FIELD GOAL - KNIGHTS Johns finishes off a top half for the Newcastle Knights with a field goal. Much to the delight of the crowd, the ball hits the crossbar and goes over. Knights 19-6
HALFTIME: The first 40 minutes totally dominated by Newcastle. Dictating the speed of the game, the Knights look completely at ease over a Storm side faltering at important times. Newcastle lead 19-6
Second half underway..
42nd min: TRY - STORM Following a mistake by the Knights in front of the Storm goalposts, a matter of quick passing and Scott slips through the defence almost too easily to score. Smith converts. A dream start to the half for the Storm. Knights 19-12
45th min: TRY - KNIGHTS The Knights hit back straight away. Solid attack with spot on passing and Salkeld is over in the corner with 1 Storm defender trying to cover 3 Knights players. Johns from the sideline, converts. Knights 25-12
49th min: NO TRY - STORM A superb kick by Orford to his winger Webster is tapped back to Geyer who looks to have scored, however the ball was called tapped forward. Score remains 25-12
56th min: TRY - KNIGHTS Seemingly lost for options, Melbourne once again cough up possession 20 metres out from their line. Newton heads off done the field manages to get the ball away to Quinn who is unstoppable and scores. Johns converts, 31-12
58th min: NO TRY - KNIGHTS Once again busting the Storm defence wide open, the Knights are hot on attack. Another awesome Johns kick bounces the wrong way for Slater and Salkeld looking for his 2nd try of the evening, knocks on in-goal. Knights 31-12
62nd min: NO TRY - STORM A good set by the Storm to have them 20 metres out from their line. An Orford high kick is contested by Carmont, along with Webster and Slater for the Storm. The ball is deemed to have been knocked on by Webster as Slater scrambles for the ball
64th min: TRY - KNIGHTS Slater having a nightmare of a game at the back for the Storm, doesn't contain the football following a kick by Johns. The tackle on Slater by Gidley pops the ball out. Buderus happily picks up the scraps. Johns converts. Knights 37-12
73rd min: TRY - STORM Cronk coming onto the field in the second half, has made some impact for a lack lustre Storm side. Right on the line Cronk manages to duck under the defence to score. A hint of obstruction as he was shielded by Geyer, however the try is awarded. Smith from out in front, converts. Knights 37-18
78th min: NO TRY- STORM Slater has had a shocker tonight with the bounce of the ball not favouring him in any way. An Orford kick in-goal has Slater stretched out to his limit, and the cruel bounce of the ball, just out of his reach.
FULLTIME: A game totally dominated by the Newcastle Knights and a well deserved victory, 37-18.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - A Johns (Knights) 2 - C Smith (Knights) 1 - G Carmont (Knights) -----------------------------------------Like