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Melbourne Storm v Newcastle Knights
Finals Week 1, 2011

The Storm knocked the Knights out of the 2011 premiership race with a hard-fought 18-8 win at AAMI Park in Week One of last year’s Finals Series. 

The Storm raced to a 16-nil lead at halftime and appeared to have the contest in the bag when Cameron Smith potted a penalty goal for an 18-nil scoreline after 51 minutes.

However, tries to Kurt Gidley and Akuila Uate in the 64th and 67th minute left the Newcastle faithful clinging to their premiership dream. The Knights threw everything at the Storm in the final minutes, with James McManus denied a try after a desperate Cooper Cronk save. 

Melbourne’s first try came against the run of play when a pass rebounded off Neville Costigan’s chest into the hands of Storm winger Matt Duffie who sprinted 45 metres to score. Beau Champion crossed from a second-man, right-side sweep before Sika Manu added another four-pointer four minutes from halftime after stripping Adam MacDougall of possession on his try line. 

Gareth Widdop was a standout for the Storm with 104 metres and eight tackle busts, while Kurt Gidley made 24 runs from fullback.