Classic Clashes: Round 6
Round 22 in 2014 was an upset to redefine all upsets, when the Melbourne Storm were sent packing, tails between their legs, in the dying moments of their game against the nib Newcastle Knights.
In front of 14,904 diehard red and blues fans, the Knights struggled to hold off a strong Storm side, which looked certain to take the win after winger Sisa Waqa scored a fourth try with just under three minutes until the final whistle.
But the Knights, who stayed hot on the trail of their opposition, created a world-class finish that brought the Storm down in spectacular fashion.
After a perfect strip from Knight Travis Waddell, he went on to score a try in the remaining two minutes which narrowed the margin to 30-26.
Pandemonium erupted from the crowd, as the Knights were then awarded a penalty with less than a minute before full time.
The Storm defence scrambled to hold out Newcastle, however a clever read from the Knights' halves saw an overlap on the right edge and the ball was flung across field for Akuila Uate to score in the right corner, centimetres from the sideline as the full time siren rang.
The Storm stood in utter disbelief as skipper Kurt Gidley lined up for a kick that would steal the win.
The kick could not have been any sweeter, as it sailed through the posts and added two points to the board for the Knights to defeat the Storm, 32-30.
It was a moment Gidley remembers vividly, as he was tackled to the ground by his teammates, exuberant with the result.
“The last few minutes is a big memory, and the way we finished that game,” Kurt stated.
“Melbourne scored with three minutes remaining and that took them out to a ten-point lead. The game was over basically, the commentators had written us off at that point. We went the short kick-off and it didn’t work. Travis Waddell got the strip on Billy Slater and scored. We were thinking we were a genuine opportunity to take the game.”
“Melbourne kicked off and we went half the field and got a penalty on halfway. Next set we played sideline to sideline footy and Aku (Akuila Uate) scored in the corner. At that stage I didn’t realise and was just too happy for Aku scoring in the corner and celebrating that try. Then I realised I’ve got an opportunity to win the game form the sideline.”
“These are the opportunities you want as a goal kicker. You practice so long in training and under pressure. It was an important kick not just for the game but for the season and the fans. It was a bit of a tough year and I knew the expectation was there to convert.”
“My favourite memory was the celebration afterwards, there was a big stacks on with about ten or 12 blokes jumping on top of me.”
“It was a tough time for the team and supporters and we just wanted to give something back to those who had supported us through those tough times.”