A midnight dash to Queensland hasn't cramped the style and flair of the Melbourne Storm as they took a comprehensive 48-4 victory over an injury-affected Newcastle Knights side on the Gold Coast.
A long night was forecast early on for the Knights when they left their intended playing kit back at the hub and instead were forced to wear their away white jersey which created an unintentional clash with the Storm's Naidoc Week jersey. The action on-field was just as error ridden for the Knights with Dominic Young coughing up the ball with the Novacastrians first touch of the steeden.
Thankfully for Newcastle, the Storm came up with their own error and couldn't turn position into points on this occasion. It wasn't too long later that Melbourne didn't get a Scrum play wrong once Nicho Hynes was able to draw defenders in before finding Justin Olam to score.
Despite having no field position or ball, the Knights were able to keep the Storm at bay until Jahrome Hughes took the most direct route up the field through the middle bursting through to find Cameron Munster to score next to the posts.
Another error from the Knights put Melbourne right on the attack and they needed just one play to score when they spread the ball out to the right and George Jennings just steamrolled Kalyn Ponga in getting over the line. Things didn't all go Melbourne's way with Dale Finucane failing a HIA early after copping a stray forearm from a teammate.
Luck was really missing from the Knights game as Kalyn Ponga left the field for a HIA which he ultimately failed after copping an accidental off the ball hit. The next Melbourne try proved that there was no luck for Newcastle as a routine Jahrome Hughes kick bounced poorly for Connor Watson at the back and it was picked up by Reimis Smith who found Hughes to score.
Melbourne finished their scoring on the stroke of half-time when Nicho Hynes crossed for his first after Brandon Smith drew in defenders before Justin Olam kicked inside and Nicho Hynes was able to get to the ball first and after converting his own try, the Storm lead 30-0 at the break.
The intensity of the play from the Storm in the second half dropped off but the style didn't as they opened the scoring for the second half after Jahrome Hughes cleaned up a sloppy kick from Connor Watson and ran through the middle of the park before finding Reimis Smith to score.
The Knights were caught out again as George Jennings scored his second after Cameron Munster created space after going through the middle, catching the defence and Jennings scored out wide.
A bright spark for the Knights came when they were able to get on the outside of the Storm defence for Dominic Young to score the only four-pointer for Newcastle. Jake Clifford pushed the conversion wide.
The Storm took their foot off the pedal late on after their last try which started with Cameron Munster going out of dummy half catching the Knights defence in all sorts before finding Justin Olam for his second try of the night.
Next weekend, the Storm take on the Cowboys in Townsville whilst things don't get too much easier for the Knights as they take on the Sydney Roosters on the Sunshine Coast.