Knights let Storm off the hook
Melbourne Storm 22 def Newcastle Knights 12
The Newcastle Knights missed an opportune chance to bag a win against the powerhouse Melbourne Storm tonight at Energy Australia Stadium.
On the back of a massive penalty account against the Storm, the Knights raced away to a 12-6 lead and could have easily extended that to 18-6 had MacDougall chance come off midway through the first half.
Instead, the Storm snuck in for a try late in the half and somehow managed to enter the break locked at 12 all.
Completion rates and general play for the Storm was average at best in the first half – and their poor dicipline resulted in a 7-2 penalty count at the break. The Knights needed to take advantage of this gift and failed to do so.
The second half saw more of a battle of attrition, as the weather closed in and rain made handling extremely tough. Plenty of ball was dropped by both sides; but as possession evened out – the class of the Melbourne Storm shone through.
The Storm ran in 2 second half tries to secure the win, but apart from Israel Folau putting in another impressive game – the same couldn’t be said for his Storm team mates. The usually explosive Inglis and probing Smith were sloppy at times and the Knights did well to shut down Slater every time he had the ball.
The Knights obviously missed Joey at times, but Buderus made an impressive return to the big time and was interchanged effectively with young Seu Seu – which will be a handy combo for the Knights in 2007.
Apart from Steve Simpson, the Knights forwards did struggle to keep on top of the Storm and will face a torrid Souths outfit next week – so it doesn’t get any easier.
Overall in a game that didn’t reach any great heights, mainly due to restrictive weather – the class of Melbourne eventually shone through. The Storm are such a strong team these days, that even when they have a bad night at the office they are still able to fob off less talented opposing NRL teams.