The nib Newcastle Knights’ 2017 Auckland Nines tournament was brought to a close on Sunday morning as the Melbourne Storm ran out 20-10 winners in game three.
The red and blues started strongly with a try in the first minute, but the Storm proved too strong over the 18 minutes.
It was a Brock Lamb kick in the very first set that goT the Knights going, Nathan Ross doing well to pressure the Melbourne defence into dropping the ball. Lamb was on hand to ground the ball in the in-goal, but was unable to convert from out wide.
Two minutes later the Storm returned serve via Young Tonumaipea, as the pacey back made a break down the right touchline and was never going to be caught.
Soon after the Storm were over again, as some lax Knights defence in the middle let Cameron Munster get over for a bonus point try.
After half time the score was still 10-4, and when Nick Meaney dropped a kick it looked as though Munster could get his second. Munster knocked on in the in-goal though, and the Knights escaped.
A minute later the Storm really should have scored again, but Kenny Bromwich dropped a pass cold just metres away from the line.
Brodie Croft finally put the Storm further out in front in the 13th minute with a superb try. He made a break well within his own half to run 70 metres and score.
Munster converted to make the score 16-4, but with five minutes left to play Ross came up with a good kick out on the left edge to get the Knights a repeat set and their first sustained pressure of the game.
Munster kicked the ball out of touch from the restart, and it didn’t take long for the red and blues to score after that. It was Cory Denniss who got the try, strolling over with acres of space on the right flank.
Storm prop Tim Glasby rounded out the scoring in the dying seconds of the game to make the final score 20-10.
Knights 10 (T: Lamb, Denniss, G: Lamb 0/0, Randell 1/1)
1. P Mata’utia (c), 2. Sio, 4. Ross, 6. Lamb, 7. Feeney, 9. Levi, 10. J Saifiti, 11. Barnett, 18. Meaney. Bench: 5. Denniss, 8. D Saifiti, 14. Randell, 15. Stockwell, 17. Fitzgibbon