After a disappointing last two weeks, the Melbourne Storm have bounced back to record a 40-14 win over the Newcastle Knights.
Playing at AAMI Park, a raucous crowd got them over the line, as the Storm hit back in the best possible way.
In a reversal of their previous games, the Storm controlled the game, held the ball and were well-disciplined.
The Storm scored early as winger Josh Addo-Carr before fellow winger Suliasi Vunivalu scored off a Billy Slater kick.
All guns blazing, Tim Glasby then scored as he powered over and the Storm led 18-0 after 16 minutes.
The Knights dug deep and capitalised on their possession, with tries to Lachlan Fitzgibbon and winger Ken Sio.
The game changed soon after when Fitzgibbon was sin-binned and Addo-Carr nabbed a second in that time.
Although young and developing, the Knights were their own worst enemy.
Inopportune mistakes, poor plays and bad decisions cost them a chance of winning.
Suliasi Vunivalu scored his second try and became the second fastest player to 50 tries behind fellow Fijian Semi Radradra.
Two late tries to Felise Kaufusi and Sam Kasiano were the nail in the coffin.
It was back to basics for the Storm as they were encouraged to just go out there and have fun.
“The energy tonight was very good,” Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith said.
“I think the mindset of our players was totally different to the last two weeks. I knew we weren’t playing to our standard and capabilities.
And probably everyone felt a little frustrated and pressured to go out there and force the team or themselves to play well, and enjoy it.”
The slow start was the difference in the game as Knights coach Nathan Brown lamented missed opportunities.
“They [Storm] got a real fast start and a try, and made some good momentum,” Brown said.
“That obviously took a lot of juice out of us. To come in [at halftime] at 18-8 at three tries to two, considering what we weathered, I thought it was a pretty good effort to get to that stage.
“They got a repeat set and maintained that possession again on us. We got a bloke [Lachlan Fitzgibbon] sent to the bin. That was the game in a nutshell.”
Player of the Game:
3. Ryley Jacks
2. Sam Kasiano
- Josh Addo-Carr