With the ominous form they showed last week, you would have expected the Melbourne Storm to go on things and put the Newcastle Knights to the sword, but it was far from the case – as the Storm escaped with a 2-point win at home.
It was all Newcastle early on, before a late Storm fightback saw them win, with the winning try coming on the back of great work by Ryan Hoffman and Billy Slater.
It was then all on the hands of QLD and Australian hooker Cam Smith to slot home the conversion, something he did, as the Storm recorded an 18-16 win over a resilient Knights outfit.
It was absolute heartbreak for the Knights, however, with the club leading 14-4 at one stage – a result that left coach Wayne Bennett scratching his head.
“We just keep walking away with the effort and not many points at the moment,” said Knights coach Wayne Bennett.
“Sometimes you lose and you win micro electronic cigarette and I hope today was one of those days, with what we got out of it as a team; to realise how good we can be.”
With their narrow win, Storm coach Craig Bellamy praised his opposition for the way they took the game to the Storm.
“I thought they (Newcastle) played really well,” he said.
“They defended really well and certainly controlled the ball really well in the first half and it was a bit of a slog for us.”
With Cooper Cronk rested, it was veteran Brett Finch who started at halfback, though he could not provide the same impact Cronk does.
Another talking point out of the game was the debut of Craig Gower for the Knights, with Bennett pleased with the contribution of the 35-year old.
“He wasn’t a liability which is the first thing you’re looking for and he’ll be a lot better for that,” Bennett said.
3. Ryan Hoffman
2. Joey Leilua
1. Cameron Smith