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Classy Storm dismantle Knights on the Gold Coast

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17th July, 2021
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Melbourne have banked their 14th win in succession with a thumping 48-4 victory over Newcastle in their NRL clash relocated to Gold Coast.

The Storm’s first home game in 78 days was relocated on Thursday to Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria but the competition heavyweights put the disruption aside to continue their red-hot winning streak.

Melbourne now hold the record for most points in 17 games, notching 626 to surpass the Eastern Suburbs side of 1935, who tallied 614.

Scoring eight tries in the Saturday night romp, Melbourne have racked up 40 points or more on 11 occasions this season.

Coach Craig Bellamy rated it as one of their best wins of the season, with the team left with no replacements for the last 20 minutes following injuries to Jahrome Hughes (calf), George Jennings (knee), Dale Finucane (HIA) and Tui Kamikamica (leg).

“They were all disappointed not to play at home – we’ve had five home games in two years,” Bellamy said.

“For the week it was, it was one of the better wins that I can remember.”

The Knights turned up with the wrong jumpers after leaving their blue strip back in Newcastle, forcing both teams to wear predominantly white, and the error appeared an omen for their night.

Melbourne were minus Origin stars Josh Addo-Carr and Christian Welch while the Knights had some big names out through injury, with stars prop Daniel Saifiti and halfback Mitchell Pearce missing.

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NSW backrower Finucane was also a first-half casualty after suffering a head knock that ended his night after 30 minutes.

But it did the premiers little harm as they raced the clock in the first half.

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They were up 18-0 after 18 minutes with Justin Olam, Cameron Munster and Jennings collecting the early spoils, while fullback Nicho Hynes added the extras.

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In a ruthless display the Storm were out to a match-winning 30-0 by halftime with crafty halfback Jahrome Hughes and Hynes both showing their class to touch down.

Hughes left the field with a calf twinge after racing 65 metres to set up their sixth try, scored by Reimis Smith.

Coming off a big win over North Queensland in their last outing, the Knights had high hopes but their disappointing showing leaves them tenth with half the round completed.

They weren’t helped by the loss of Maroons star Kalyn Ponga just before halftime when the fullback bumped awkwardly into the shoulder of Kamikamica.

Ponga went to ground but appeared to shrug it off only to leave the field a minute later and fail his HIA.

The Knights also lost veteran prop Dave Klemmer to a head knock early on although both were reportedly well post-match.

Newcastle’s Dom Young made amends for two early errors to cross for his team’s sole try, with the English winger diving over in the corner after 55 minutes.

Knights coach Adam O’Brien said his team hadn’t handled the chaotic week, also shifting to Queensland.

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“We trained light and we started that way,” O’Brien said.

“We’ve got to get into a rhythm and a routine because it stems from our preparation.”

© AAP

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