Knights down Storm post-siren

Newcastle scored a stunning 32-30 win over Melbourne on Saturday night. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Newcastle scored a stunning 32-30 win over Melbourne on Saturday night. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Knights 32 Storm 30

Newcastle skipper Kurt Gidley kicked a goal after the siren to give Newcastle a stunning 32-30 win against Melbourne at Hunter Stadium on Saturday night.

Gidley's pressure conversion, after an Akuila Uate try on the final play of regular time locked scores at 30-all, gave the Knights the lead for the first time.

With a 14,904-strong crowd in raptures, an elated Gidley was mobbed by his teammates as they celebrated a victory that was the perfect response to last week's 50-10 loss to South Sydney.

Stunned Storm players trudged from the field, wondering how they had allowed two competition points, and a temporary hold of fourth position, to escape their clutches. 

Storm winger Sisa Waqa scored four tries in vain. He joined Parramatta's Semi Radradra at the top of the NRL's list of try scorers with 16 four-pointers.

Melbourne led 16-10 at half-time after racing to an early 12-0 lead.

The visitors drew first blood in the sixth minute when back-rower Kevin Proctor burst into a yawning gap and linked with fullback Billy Slater, who seemingly strolled in to score between the posts.

Five minutes later, Waqa intercepted a Tyrone Roberts pass and raced 60 metres to score untouched.

Just when it appeared the Knights were in danger of being handed their second successive thrashing, they rallied.

Recalled winger Uate, returning from a knee injury and a game in the NSW Cup, broke clear in the 22nd minute and passed inside to forward Chris Houston, who scored a try to celebrate his 150th NRL game.

Four minutes later, Melbourne fumbled a Gidley bomb and Roberts juggled the ball, regained control, and forced it down for his ninth try of the season.

A second Waqa try in the 38th minute gave the Storm a six-point advantage at the break.

Newcastle reduced the deficit to two points eight minutes after the resumption when winger Chanel Mata'utia, appearing in his third top-grade game, scored a spectacular try by making a missile-like launch into the air and then planting the ball in the corner one-handed.

Mata'utia's elation was short-lived, however, as three minutes later Waqa got outside him to post his hat-trick.

A Will Chambers try gave Melbourne a 24-14 lead with just 14 minutes left to play.  

Newcastle's Dane Gagai then scored from dummy-half before Waqa apparently sealed the game by giving Melbourne a 30-20 lead with three minutes to play.

But the home side refused to conceded and Travis Waddell and Uate somehow conjured up tries, Uate's effort leaving Gidley with a sideline conversion attempt after the siren to win the game.

The Knights were depleted by the late withdrawal of Jarrod Mullen (abdominals) and Beau Scott, who failed a concussion test after a head knock during the game against Souths.


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