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Sione Mata'utia leaves the field with concussion during Newcastle's Round 5 loss to Melbourne.

The Storm left it late while the Knights proved they have fight in them in a nail-biting Saturday afternoon contest at AAMI Park.


Lazy hour almost costs the Storm

It's quite rare that the Storm play 80 minutes of poor football, so to see almost 60 minutes of it is very unusual.

The home side made a number of early errors and threw errant passes, constantly breaking down what was looking like a promising attack only seconds earlier.

It continued on in the second half, with Cooper Cronk and Kenny Bromwich dropping routine catches only metres out from the Newcastle try-line. 

The experienced heads of Cronk and Cameron Smith were able to turn their side around however, as Cronk's second try was the catalyst in the Storm's comeback. 

Young Melbournian becomes the hero

Richie Kennar was in the right place at the right time with seven minutes remaining as the young Victorian scored the match-winning try for the Storm.

Replacing the suspended Marika Koroibete, Kennar was making his season debut for the Storm after not being able to force his way into the squad in the opening month of the campaign.

It took the 21-year-old a while to find his feet, but he was Johnny-on-the-spot when it mattered and sealed the Storm's fourth win of the season.


Injuries impact Knights late on

The Knights were reduced to only 15 fit men when Sione Mata'utia and Danny Levi left the field through injury in the first half.

Mata'utia failed the concussion test after receiving a hit from Richie Kennar in the sixth minute, and Levi had a lower back issue that forced him to watch the majority of the game on the sidelines.

This left the young Knights open to fatigue which allowed for the Storm to pile on 10 points in the final 20 minutes of the game to runaway with the victory.

Five-day turnaround has evident affect on contest

With the Storm and the Knights both coming off games last Monday, all the talk throughout the week was on the possible affect of the five-day turnaround.

It was clear from the beginning that it was going to be an issue throughout the game, as errors and penalties were everywhere throughout the first half. 

Both sides struggled to gain decent metres in the first half as well, as not a single player had more than 100 metres gained at half-time.

Nathan Brown applauds Newcastle effort

Knights coach Nathan Brown was pleased with his young side's effort to stick with the Storm up until the final whistle.

"If we can get that sort of effort on a consistent basis, we'll start to pick up a few wins," Brown said.

"We've got to be encouraged by what they delivered, and the challenge now is for the guys to be aware of why we were in that game for so long, and if we can bring that each week, well then there's a footy team in there."

Brown admitted that some costly errors denied his side a comeback into the game, but was overall quite upbeat about how his side fared.


Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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