The U20 Thunderbolts have bounced back following three defeats to record a resounding 54-18 win in Newcastle on Saturday.
From the first whistle Eric Smith’s side commanded the momentum and authority on the contest, proving too strong for the eighth placed Knights.
Melbourne began the first half brightly, opening the scoring through Harry Grant after some sharp work out of dummy half.
With the help of the breeze at their backs, the young Storm side made the most of their opportunities in good field position. Lead by hooker Grant, the Thunderbolts were clinical in attack, breaching the Knights defence on three more occasions throughout the half.
Harlan Collins and Jacob Tonge found themselves over the try line before Jesse Arthars struck a killer blow on the half-time break.
Arthars continued the wave of Melbourne attacks to start the second stanza when he found his way through a hole to put the Thunderbolts in an unassailable position.
A second half fightback looked possible when Kainoa Gudgeon handed the home side some hope before Louis Geraghty’s strength allowed the Thunderbolts to reinstate their 22-point advantage.
Further tries to Will Toloi, Jake Elmore, Grant and Beau Fermor helped seal the impressive result in the U20 Thunderbolts last curtain raiser played before the NRL side.
U20 Thunderbolts 54
Tries: Harry Grant 2, Jesse Arthars 2, Harlan Collins, Jacob Tonge, Louis Geraghty, Will Toloi, Jake Elmore, Beau Fermor
Goals: Jesse Arthars 7
U20 Knights 18
Tries: Matt Cooper, Kainoa Gudgeon, Cameron King
Goals: Kurtis Dark 3