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An efficient Knights NYC side proved too strong for the Melbourne Storm on Saturday afternoon, recording a 38-0 victory at Hunter Stadium.

The Knights' 14th win of the season gives them a four-point advantage at the top of the table with four games left in the home-and-away season.

17-year-old halfback Jack Cogger had a memorable match on debut, scoring an impressive try in the first half and keeping the team ticking over throughout.

The Knights didn't take long to get going in the first half, taking the lead within three minutes.

A powerful burst from Harry Pondekas from the 50 metre line provided the platform for winger Braden Robson to cross over in the corner.

Brock Lamb's first attempt at extending the lead edged wide, leaving the score at 4-0.

Pondekas again threatened down the right edge several minutes later, but was held up just short of the line on the final tackle.

The Storm grabbed the opportunity with both hands and pushed down the other end of the field with the aid of three penalties in quick succession, only to produce a knock-on with the try line in sight.

The Knights briefly ventured out of their own half with strong running from Luke Yates and Joseph Tapine, before the Storm were at them again.

However, the Storm were unable to build any meaningful pressure with another knock-on from dummy half only metres away from the try line.

Knights skipper Danny Levi rallied the troops in the following set with a series of powerful runs from dummy-half.

Debutant half Jack Cogger was the beneficiary, crossing over in the 17th minute.

The SG Ball graduate showed plenty of grit, steam-rolling three defenders to get the ball down. Lamb made no mistakes with his second conversion, giving the Knights a 10-0 lead.

The Storm were proving to be their own worst enemies, turning the ball over again in their next set 30 metres from the try line.

Pride Petterson-Robati was introduced to the game with 20 minutes gone in the first half and showed plenty of intent against his former side.

Barging past several defenders, he was stripped of the ball five metres from the line, earning the Knights a repeat set.

Lamb produced a neat chip for Robson, but the ball just sailed over his fingertips to go dead.

Again the Storm forced their way up the other end of the field, only to produce an error for winger Josh Birch to scoop up the ball and run 85 metres to score.

Lamb managed to squeeze the ball between the posts from a tight angle with the conversion, giving the Knights a 16-0 lead with 12 minutes to go in the first half.

The Knights capitalised on a Storm error, with second-rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon ducking under a tackle to cross over in the 34th minute. Lamb added the extras to make it 22-0, which the Knights took into the sheds at half time.

It was business as usual for the Knights when play resumed, with winger Birch crossing over for his second try within three minutes.

Birch's second try was almost as memorable as the first, the winger twisting and turning to leave three defenders off balance and unable to make a tackle. Lamb again converted to make it 28-0.

Centre Bradie Smith threatened down the same edge minutes later, only to lose the ball under pressure.

With 28 minutes to play, returning fullback Jake Mamo attempted the audacious, chip-and-chase from the 50 metre line only to have the ball knocked from his hands in a last-gasp tackle.

The continuing pressure proved too much for the Storm and Robson intercepted a loose pass to score his second.

Lamb converted his fifth try, leaving the score at 34-0 with 24 minutes to play.

The Knights again pushed into enemy territory with their next set, Tapine breaking through the line to offload to Lamb, who was dragged down from behind with some last ditch defending by the Storm.

Melbourne finally stamped their presence on the game in the 66th minute, coming close with a powerful run from prop Vincent Rennie.

The Knights defence held strong, though, and the Storm were left scoreless.

Gaining momentum, the Storm broke on the right four minutes later, only for Birch to frustrate them by blocking their chip.

The ball went dead and the Storm were rewarded with a scrum 20 metres from the line but the Knights' defence held solid.

Petterson-Robati proved too strong with seven minutes left, bustling over to score against his old side. Lamb was unlucky to miss the conversion as the ball struck the post, leaving the score at 38-0.

With seconds to go on the clock Luke Yates charged over, only to be ruled offside by the video referee. The game finished 38-0 to the young Knights, who remain on top of the NYC ladder.


Newcastle Knights 38 (T: Birch 2, Robson 2, Cogger, Fitzgibbon, Petterson-Robati, G: Lamb 5/7)
Melbourne Storm 0


Newcastle: Mamo, Robson, Smith, Peni, Birch, Lamb, Cogger, Tapine, Levi (c), Yates, Fitzgibbon, Pondekas, Pondekas, Boyce. Bench: De Saxe, Petterson-Robati, Togiatasi, Taylor.