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Live: Storm v Knights

Well that's it from me tonight. Thanks for joining the blog - all the news from the after-match press conferences and sheds in the Herald tomorrow and online at LeagueHQ.

Fulltime. Storm 34-22. Melbourne make it five from five in 2012. Bellamy would not be happy with those two late tries to the Knights, but the Storm were never in doubt. The Knights were made to pay for all their mistakes tonight.

80 min: Try. McManus gets a double for Knights. Mullen wide cross-kick is collected by the winger. Sa'u takes over the kicking duties and produces one of the worst attempts of all time, nearly taking out some Storm players standing next to the posts. Storm 34-22.

77 min. Try. Costigan from dummy half 2m out, throws a dummy and is in under the posts. Gidley converts the try from in front, but appears to hurt his knee with the kick. Storm 34-18.

76 min: Mullen bomb fumbled by Storm, penalty to Knights.

72 min: Try. And yet again the Storm make the Knights pay for another mistake. Good set play ends with Cronk putting Lowrie into hole and even though he stumbles he still finds the tryline. Smith converts. Storm 34-12.

70 min: Taia drops the ball cold 10m out. Storm on the attack.

69 min: Try. Knights stop the Storm points when Mullen gets the ball from a scrum 25m out, dummies and shows a clean pair of heels. Gidley converts. Storm 28-12.

67 min: Another strong attack from the Storm ends with the ball beating Slater chasing through his own grubber over the dead-ball line.

64 min. Try. Chambers is rewarded for a good game with a try. From 5 out a strong run takes two defenders over the line. Smith converts. Storm 28-6.

62 min: Storm get scrum,and Gidley blows up over ruling and he's penalised marched 10. Storm on attack 15m out.

60 min: Knights get a penalty on halfway go on attack, Quinn cops Sa'u high on a decoy run. Penalty to Knights and Quinn on report.

56 min: Knights hold out Storm attack. Smth finally produces a dud kick and his grubber cleaned up by Knights.

52 min: Try. Another bit of magic from Slater. Cronk finds Hoffman on the burst, he squirts a ball out and Slater picks it up off his bootlaces on the fly and slides over. Smith converts. Storm 22-6.

50 min: Grubber from Cronk is knocked dead by Knights defence. Storm will get another set of 6 in good position.

46 min: Great run from Uate from his own tryline, breaks 4 tackles and goes 40m before being stopped. Set finishes with Duffie flying high to take a bomb.

42 min: Knights make a nice break down the left-hand side with good run by McManus, they run the ball on the last and attempt an inside ball to CUthbertson but he's foiled on the line.

 41 min: Gidley gets the second half underway

Benny and Bellyache have given their charges the good oil at halftime. Bellamy takes the chair, while Bennett stands and does an arms wide apart signal - not sure what that means, maybe "I want you to win by this many points."

Here's Michael Chammas' take on the first 40 minutes: The Storm are doing everything at a pace the Knights can’t keep up with. Newcastle were in danger of being blown off the park in the first 40 minutes but they fought their way back in the final 15 minutes of the half before the Hoffman try. You’ll know if Newcastle are any chance of snatching a come-from-behind victory within the first few sets of the second half. The Storm have been quick out of the blocks in every half this season, and if they can reproduce that again tonight, they could pile on the points in the final 20 minutes. It’s hard to see Newcastle getting back into this one.

Half-time. Storm show why they are premiership favourites in that last couple of minutes. Knights had done well to get back to within six, but one mistake and they are punished.

39 min: Try. Hoffman scores after a nice backline move. Cronk cuts out two, onto Widdop who puts The Hoff in. Video ref check a decoy runner, but all good. Smith misses conversion Storm 16-6

35 min: The vet Ryles rocks the rookie McKinnon, but then Knights get penalty from play the ball and go on the attack. But Knights momentum stopped when Costigan loses ball in play the ball.

34 min: Try. Knights get their kicking game right finally on the last - flat cross kick from Mullen is taken by a steaming McManus coming in from an angle. Gidley converts from out wide. Storm 12-6.

31 min: Storm defence holds strong, Uate goes very close after nice ball from Boyd. Great defence from Slater. Duffie takes bomb.

30min: Knights get penalty. Will go on attack in good position. A try here would get them back in the contest.

25 min: Knights go 80m on a raid after a nice run and offload from Tahu, kick into in-goal and it looks like Slater is caught, but he slips a ball to Widdop who escapes from the in-goal.

20 min: Penalty to Storm on the 4th when Snowden pinged for holding down. Storm will be on attack 40m out.

19 min: Another dropped ball from Knights puts Storm on the attack. Smith held up over line, Cronk bomb is touched over the dead ball line by Quinn flying high.

16 min: Sa'u gets monstered by Quinn coming in off his wing. His shoulder may have slipped up. Set finishes with Duffie comfortably taking bomb.

13 min: Try. Well that will kill you against the Storm. Knights move ball wide, Snowden can't pick up a low ball, Chambers picks up the scraps, sprints away, gets it on to Duffie and he's away to the races - try from 70m out. Storm 12-0

10 min: Tahu puts trademark shoulder on Manu and he spills the ball. Scrum to Knights 45m out from Storm line. Kingiths get penalty fof Storm offside. KNights on attack 10m out

9 min: Gidley from 30m out puts in a low kick which finds touch 5m out - strange option, Storm will get the ball from scrum.

7 min: Solid set of 6 from Storm ends with Widdop finding touch. Knights scrum 30m out from own line.

5 min: Try. 5 metres out, Smith lets two dummy runners go through which pulls in the defence and Widdop goes over untouched. Smith converts. Storm 6-0

3 min: Storm can't crack the Knights defence from 10m out. Cronk grubber pins McManus in-goal. Dropout.

2 min: Good first set from Knights, quite positive. Ends with bomb that Slater flies high and takes comfortably. THen Cronk hits a cracking 40-20 which will put the Storm right on attack.

1 min: And we're off - Smith gets us underway with the kick-off.

The teams are 1-17, but a slight reshuffle to both with Ryan Hinchliffe to start and Todd Lowrie goes to the bench for Melbourne and for Newcastle Alex McKinnon will start and Neville Costigan will ride the pine early.

Welcome to the Melbourne-Newcastle match blog.

The Storm, the only unbeaten team in the competition after four rounds, have been buoyed by the decision of halfback Cooper Cronk to re-sign for another four years.

After out-pointing Michael Ennis last round, Knights hooker Danny Buderus has been mentioned as a chance to make a stunning comeback for NSW in State of Origin this year. We’ll certainly sees how he’s travelling tonight when he faces up the best in the business, Cameron Smith.

 So we’ve got Buderus and Smith with the Cs next to their names in the program, and Cooper Cronk with two Cs for his initials, so tonight’s pre-match entertainment is from Echo and The Bunnymen with Seven Seas.

 

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