Melbourne Storm have produced a dominant exhibition against the Newcastle Knights in front of a home crowd at AAMI Park winning 40-14
The home team Storm found themselves in the opening 20 minutes with three tries and leading 18-0 before a gallant fight back by Newcastle side scoring two tries before the half making it 18-8. In the second half of play, Melbourne came out with more dominant running to get over the Knights in the last quarter and finish the match 40-14.
STORM STRIKE BACK
After two miserable losses, the Storm has bounced back to smash a desperate Knights side looking for another away win. The Melbourne team was polished and running rampant early in the match setting a big task for the visitors with a three-try haul within the opening 15 minutes before the Newcastle team was able to bring back the momentum slightly before the half. The match was in the balance before more carnage in the last 20 minutes against a tired Knights pack which produced 16 points on top of an already big lead for the Storm to win.
BILLY DIVES AGAIN
In the 46th minute, a sin bin to Newcastle backrower Lachlan Fitzgibbon who was called to have tackled Billy Slater off a tap and not retreating 10 metres. The Knights player however only laid a slight hand on Slater who once again dived to the ground to gain the advantage and have the officials send the player to the sideline. Slater was called for diving last month against the Sharks in the same situation resulting in a professional foul benefiting the Storm.
Three wingers were able to produce two tries with both of the Storms best try scorers from last season in Suliasi Vunivalu and Josh Addo-Carr. The Melbourne wingers had only scored two tries within the opening 5 rounds until facing the Knights, Ken Sio the other double try scorer was also in the same position only have the two four-pointers in his first five matches.
The Master fullback in Billy Slater and the young rookie Kalyn Ponga were points of difference for both sides with each manufacturing two highly impressive try assists. The pair made a total of 10 tackle busts and ran over 160 metres making each other’s defenders have a difficult 80-minute encounter.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
“We didn’t get our start to the game well enough.”- Nathan Brown
“We hung in there for periods but leaked in soft tries at the wrong times which is too hard to chase points.”- Mitchell Pearce
“That first half was just a leadoff who held the ball and who got the penalties.”- Craig Bellamy
“One part of our game we have very high standards for is our goal line defence.”- Cameron Smith
Tries: Addo-Carr (2), Vunivalu (2), Glasby, Kaufusi, Kasiano
Goals: Smith 6/8
Tries: Fitzgibbon, Sio (2)
Goals: Ponga 1/3
Storm: 1 Billy Slater, 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Young Tonumaipea, 4 Curtis Scott, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Cameron Munster, 7 Ryley Jacks, 8 Jesse Bromwich, 9 Cameron Smith (c), 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 11 Felise Kaufusi, 12 Ryan Hoffman, 15 Tim Glasby
Interchange: 13 Kenny Bromwich, 14 Joe Stimson, 16 Christian Welch, 18 Brandon Smith
Knights: 1 Kalyn Ponga, 2 Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 3 Sione Mata’utia, 4 Nathan Ross, 5 Ken Sio, 6 Brock Lamb, 7 Mitchell Pearce (c), 8 Daniel Saifiti, 9 Slade Griffin, 10 Jacob Lillyman, 11 Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12 Aidan Guerra, 13 Herman Ese’ese
Interchange: 14 Danny Levi, 15 Chris Heighington, 16 Jamie Buhrer (c), 17 Jacob Saifiti