Digital Image by Brett Crockford © nrlphotos.com :	NYC, Rugby League, Round 2, Melbourne Storm v  Penrith Panthers @ AAMI Park, Melbourne, VIC, Saturday March 15th, 2014.

Knights too strong for Thunderbolts

The Thunderbolts have suffered a 50-0 loss to the Newcastle Knights at AAMI Park on Monday night.

Looking to build on last week's impressive home victory against the Panthers, Matt Adamson's side faced an undefeated Knights outfit on a cool evening in Melbourne.

The visitors started the match brightly, jumping Storm to open the scoring after a sustained period of early pressure. Josh Birch crossed the try-line in the ninth minute as the Knights found an early gap in the Melbourne defence.

Sione Mata'utia doubled the visitors' advantage shortly after as Newcastle continued to cause headaches for the young Melbourne defence. Jacob Gagai's quick thinking sliced the Storm line in half, allowing Mata'utia to score and improve kicking position for number two Bryce Donovan.

A third from the Knights later in the half left the Thunderbolts with a mountain to climb at the main break. After working their way into the contest and earning a share of possession a charge down from Knights forward Lachlan Fitzgibbon turned the tables, pushing his side further ahead.

Newcastle didn't let up during the second stanza, picking up where they left off just five minutes into the half. Mata'utia crossed the line for his second of the evening, all but ending Melbourne's hopes of a comeback victory.

Further tries to Harry Pondekas and Jake Mamo continued the Knights run before Mata'utia completed his hat-trick and an impressive night at the office.

Late tries to Bryce Donovan and Danny Levi pushed the lead out further, handing the Knights a 50-0 victory.

 

Melbourne Storm 0

Tries:

Goals:

Newcastle Knights 50

Tries: Josh Birch 9', Sione Mata'utia 14', Lachlan Fitzgibbon 32', Sione Mata'utia 45', Harry Pondekas 54', Jake Mamo 56', Sione Mata'utia 61', Bryce Donovan 75', Danny Levi 78'

Goals: Bryce Donovan 7