Melbourne have piled on more pain for Newcastle, showing no mercy for a second consecutive week to send the Knights to the bottom of the ladder with a 50-2 win at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The Storm picked up where they left off in last week's 70-10 win over the Warriors to run in five unanswered tries in the first half for a 26-0 lead against a lacklustre Knights outfit who produced another poor showing on home turf.
Storm stars Cameron Munster, Harry Grant and Jahrome Hughes were at their creative best to terrorise the Knights' right edge who had no answers as they slumped to the bottom of the Telstra Premiership ladder.
Melbourne scored another three in the second term with Xavier Coates grabbing another three tries after scoring four last week and Justin Olam crossing for a double in the romping win.
Match: Knights v Storm
Round 8 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
- The Knights made 52 tackles before they eventually touched the ball for the first time in the 12th minute, showing Melbourne's dominance early.
- Harry Grant started strong with two try assists, sending Justin Olam and Xavier Coates over the line for a 10-0 lead.
- Knights forward Sauaso Sue lasted just five minutes before failing a head injury assessment after clashing with the hip of Nelson Asofa-Solomona.
- Knights forward Tyson Frizell was placed on report for an alleged crusher tackle on Storm back-rower Kenny Bromwich in the ninth minute.
- Melbourne extended their lead shortly after through Jahrome Hughes, who kept the ball alive on the last tackle before finishing off a right side play.
- The tries continued for Olam and Coates before half-time with simple edge movements and sloppy Knights defence enabling both men to go over for doubles.
- Newcastle kicked a penalty goal on the half-time siren to get the side on the board. It was the second straight week the Knights have only scored two points in a match.
- The Knights' second half started the same as a first with an immediate turnover enabling Coates to cross for the second hat-trick of his season.
- Tepai Moeroa crossed for the side's seventh when he got on the field and finished off a Harry Grant kick that hit the goal posts. Moeroa then left the field with a shoulder concern.
- Knights five-eighth Jake Clifford was hooked in the second half after a disappointing afternoon with Adam Clune and Phoenix Crossland finishing the game in the halves.
- Some Cameron Munster magic got the Storm their eighth with the Maroons representative launching a pass for Nick Meaney out wide before the No.6 finished off Meaney pass before the siren as the Storm eyed 50.
- The Knights' loss was their third biggest defeat on home turf.
King Coates scores another hat-trick
Play of the game
You can never fall asleep on Jahrome Hughes with the Storm halfback creating something out of nothing in the first half to set up the side's dominant lead. Despite not being sure at first if it was indeed the last tackle, Hughes found Reimis Smith and Xavier Coates on the right edge before Coates kicked inside for him to plant the ball down with millimetres to spare.
Knights fall asleep as Hughes takes advantage
What they said
“They would have been really keen at the start, after last week, to come out strong and we thought that their middles would really lead that, but they just didn’t get a chance. They had to defend, so that put them on the back foot for the rest of the half, and probably put them on the back foot for the rest of the game as well.” - Storm coach Craig Bellamy.
“To answer your question, we’re down on confidence, definitely, at the moment, and the only answer is to stick together and fight our way out, and we’ll come out the other side, I’ve seen it. Unfortunately, we’ve done it annually, for a long period of time now. But no-one’s going to feel sorry for us, and we don’t want that. We don’t want people’s sympathy – we don’t want to be kicked, unnecessarily – but we don’t want sympathy. We’ll get together and we’ll fight it …” - Knights coach Adam O'Brien.
Genius Grant sets up super-sub Moeroa
Melbourne return home to AAMI Park next Sunday afternoon for a showdown with the Dragons.
The Knights face a difficult task when they travel to Queensland Country Bank Stadium for a clash against the Cowboys.
Smart Storm find Meaney to score his first