Winning run ends! Storm too strong for Knights

The winning run is over.

The nib Newcastle Knights were no match for the Melbourne Storm, going down 34-4 at AAMI Park on Saturday.

Chasing seven straight, it was a slow start for both sides although the home team had the best of the field position in the opening 10 minutes.

A massive shot by Felise Kaufusi on Shaun Kenny-Dowall turned over possession 20 metres from the Knights line and an offside penalty kept the visitors under the pump.

While the Knights did well to get the ball back, a breakdown in communication saw the ball turned over and two plays later Jahrome Hughes posted first points.

With Cameron Smith adding the extras, the Storm hit a 6-0 lead after 14 minutes.

Back-to-back penalties for high tackles saw the Knights pile on the pressure until a handling error from Jesse Ramien let them off the hook.

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With a completion rate of 58%, another error from Kenny-Dowall put the visitors under pressure.

The Knights withstood the pressure but it didn’t matter, a few minutes later the Storm struck again.

Will Chambers produced a perfectly weighted grubber kick for a flying Josh Addo-Carr.

Down by 12 after 29 minutes, the Knights stood tall in defence with four men driving Chambers into touch.

Just as the Knights looked to get things rolling, a pass from Ramien to Kenny-Dowall was called forward and halted their momentum.

Mitch Barnett was placed on report just before halftime for a tackle on Hughes.

With four minutes left on the clock, Edrick Les collected a loose pass to put the Knights into prime attacking position.

Back to back penalties kept the pressure on the Storm but a Tim Glasby dropped ball meant there was no change to the score.

The first half couldn’t have started worse.

A forward pass from Lachlan Fitzgibbon gave the Storm possession at the Knights 40 metre and moments later a Brodie Croft chip kick to Suliasi Vunivalu extended the lead.

Down by 18, Kalyn Ponga found Hymel Hunt who beat Vunivalu and Marion Seve to post points for the visitors.

Lee was sin binned with 17 minutes remaining for tackling Smith without the ball as he chased a grubber.

Moments later, Joe Stimson extended the lead.

With just under ten minutes until full time, Connor Watson threw an intercept pass and Cameron Munster and Marion Seve combined to score. Smith converted to extend their lead.

The Storm continued to take advantage of their 13-12 man overlap, and Stimson crossed the line for his second of the afternoon. Ryan Papenhuyzen missed the conversion.

Edrick Lee returned to the field, however the Knights could not get one over the home side.

The Knights looked to lessen the margin on the death, but Hymel Hunt dropped the ball over the line and the margin remained.