Newcastle upset Storm in Melbourne
Melbourne's premiership aspirations have been dealt a crippling blow after being upset 20-8 by an inspired Newcastle on Monday night.
For the third time this season the Storm have lost to the competition's bottom placed team, but in fairness to the Knights they looked nothing like a side holding up the NRL ladder.
For the full 80 minutes they were up for the fight as the influence of interim coach Danny Buderus was on full display for the second straight week.
The worst defence in the NRL has hardly looked so good as the Knights missed just one of their first 100 tackles and forced the usually clinical Storm into committing 13 errors while having just six of their own.
Melbourne barely got a look in the attacking end with just 41% of possession while the completion rate of the Knights finished at 84%.
Tyrone Roberts had the ball on a string for much of the game in a best-afield performance that included an assist and an intercept try off his more-fancied opposing number in Cooper Cronk.
Before Storm had even touched the footy the Knights found themselves 6-0 ahead after skipper Kurt Gidley sliced through the purple line to touch down under the posts.
Melbourne had to wait seven minutes and until the sixth set of the game to finally get their hands on the footy but when back-to-back penalties followed they hit back in trademark fashion.
Kevin Proctor took possession and turned his back on the Knights defence 20 metres from home passed to Munster which left the Knights defence wrong footed, allowing the youngster to pirouette out of a tackle to score.
The Knights refused to drop their bundle though and nudged ahead again in the 21st minute when Tyrone Roberts slotted a penalty kick.
When Munster dropped a high ball four minutes later Newcastle were handed another golden opportunity and duly made the home side pay.
Tariq Sims capped off a swift move to the left as he barged through a would-be tackle to hand the visitors an unlikely 12-point lead at the break.
Any thought of the Knights dropping off after the restart was quashed as they emerged from the sheds with an even greater intensity.
They should have extended their advantage on 50 minutes when Dane Gagai's pass was judged forward, however Aikuila Uate failed to ground the ball in the corner.
Melbourne looked to re-focus but the further they moved up field the more determined the Knights became.
Gidley had the chance to lay the icing on the cake in the 68th minute but with the try line beckoning he failed to grasp a Kade Snowden offload and dropped the ball with the tryline wide open.
However it mattered little with the game's defining moment summed up seven minutes from time as Cameron Smith kicked out on the full from an optional 20 metre restart, seal Melbourne's fate with a gift penalty in front of the sticks.
Newcastle Knights 20 (Kurt Gidley, Tariq Sims, Tyrone Roberts Tries; Tyrone Roberts 4 Goals) Def. Melbourne Storm 6 (Cameron Munster Try; Cameron Smith Goal) at AAMI Park. Half-time: Knights 18-6.