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Melbourne show their class in 40-14 win against Newcastle Knights

NEWCASTLE were in the wrong place at the wrong time as Melbourne Stormrediscovered their championship mojo ina 40-14blitzat AAMI Park on Friday night.
Nanjing Night Net

TRY TIME: Tim Glasby scores for Melbourne against the Knights.

After successive losses to Cronulla and Wests Tigers, the premiers bounced back to their best with a three-try spreein the opening quarter that left the Knights playing catch-up.

The result continued Newcastle’s dire run in the Victorian capital. It was theirninth loss in 11 games at AAMI, and their 18thdefeatin 22 games at all Melbourne venues.

The Storm exploded out of the blocks with a try before the visitors had even touched the ball, after winger Josh Addo-Carr finished off a Billy Slater line break.

Slater created the Storm’s next trywith a 10th-minute chip kick that bounced perfectly forfor right-side winger Suliasi Vunivalu.

When lock Tim Glasby crashed onto a short-ball to score in the 16thminute, a cricket score appeared on the cards.

The Storm, boosted by a 7-0 penalty count, had raced to an 18-0 lead.

But the momentum swung late in the second half and Newcastle pegged back two tries before the break, reducing the deficit to 18-8.

Their first pointscame in the 29thminute when fullback Kalyn Ponga, with a trademark goosestep and short ball, sent Lachlan Fitzgibbon crashing over for his fourth try of the year.

A minute before half-time, Knights skipper Mitchell Pearce hit winger Ken Sio with a perfect cut-out pass and he scored in the corner, injuring himself as he crashed through Melbourne’s cover defenders.

Newcastle’s hopes of continuing their fightback were dented in the 47thminute when Fitzgibbon was sin-binned for a professional foul, after trying to prevent Slater from taking a quick tap.

Within a minute, Melbourne had spun the ball to their left edge where Addo-Carr stretched out to make it a double, despite the tackle of Shaun Kenny-Dowall.

There was a classic moment in the 59thminute when Ponga broke clear and the veteran Slater rounded him up in a tackle that jolted the ball free.

Two minutes later, Vunivalu scored his second try of the game and Newcastle were left facing an impossible task.

Sio picked up a bracein the 66thminute, after a Ponga pass, but Melbourne hit back with a try by Test back-rower Felise Kaufusi.

A debut try by former Canterbury prop Sam Kasiano in the 75thminute broughtthe 12,386-strong crowd to their feet.

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