Newy brought back to earth

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - ORIGIN GAME II -

THE New­cas­tle Knights’ trav­elled to Mel­bourne yes­ter­day as the NRL’s form team with six straight wins.

They re­turned home last night af­ter a re­al­ity check, thumped and com­pre­hen­sively out­played by the Storm 34-4.

Blues Ori­gin hope­fuls Mitchell Pearce and Daniel Saifiti were dis­ap­point­ing, along with cham­pion full­back Ka­lyn Ponga, who strug­gled to make an im­pact.

They were com­pletely over­shad­owed by Storm and Queensland Ma­roons fiveeighth Cameron Mun­ster.

Two words best de­scribe Mel­bourne Storm right now: the bench­mark.

NO EX­CUSES Knights coach Nathan Brown was dis­ap­pointed at his postgame press con­fer­ence.

“In the end it was too easy for them,” he said, “We played the best side and the most pro­fes­sional side and clearly showed we weren’t quite ready for it. I hope we can look at it as a good les­son.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing we didn’t give our best shot. They were very pro­fes­sional and too good. But we shouldn’t be judged on one game.”

Asked about Pearce’s be­low-par per­for­mance, Brown de­fended his No.7.

“It’s hard to play when you turn the ball over like we did,” he said. “It doesn’t mat­ter who your half­back is in these cir­cum­stances. It’s a team sport. You need a lot of peo­ple to play good foot­ball for your best play­ers to have an op­por­tu­nity.”

KNIGHT- MARE Beat­ing Mel­bourne in Mel­bourne is hard enough with­out gift­ing Storm both ter­ri­tory and pos­ses­sion with clumsy mis­takes.

The Knights com­pleted at a mis­er­able 58 per cent in the first 22 min­utes yes­ter­day, com­pared to Mel­bourne’s 83 per cent, to gift-wrap the win for the men in pur­ple.

As is of­ten the case, too, Storm took their chances and even cre­ated a few of their own with rib-rat­tling tack­les. Josh Addo-Carr and Nel­son Aso­faSolomona forced turnovers early, while Felise Kau­fusi kept the Knights at bay with vice­like hands in the de­fen­sive line as the vis­i­tors threat­ened to score close to half­time from re­peat sets in­side the Storm 10m.

UGLY ACT New­cas­tle’s Mitchell Bar­nett will get a hol­i­day for a dan­ger­ous crusher tackle on Storm full­back Jahrome Hughes. Af­ter be­ing dragged off Hughes, the Knights’ sec­ondrower took a swipe at Cameron Smith, re­sult­ing in play­ers from both teams com­ing to­gether in the mid­dle of the field as Storm med­i­cal staff tended to Hughes. Bar­nett was placed on re­port but avoided the sin bin. Hughes, thank­fully, was cleared of any dam­age and played out the game.

The Storm’s Dale Fin­u­cane is held up by the Knights.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.