Storm raises 50 for second straight week as Newcastle lay sorry

Melbourne inflicted more pain on hapless Newcastle, whipping the Knights 50-2 and dooming Adam O’Brien’s men to last place on the NRL ladder.

Another sad afternoon for Newcastle, half-back Jake Clifford was hung after 53 minutes in the worst defeat of O’Brien’s tenure as Knights manager.

While Clifford eventually returned via a HIA for Tex Hoy, there was never any sign of life for the hosts as they failed to break Storm’s line once.

Melbourne’s demolition work made them the sixth team in history to score 120 points in two weeks, backing the Warriors’ 70-10 demolition on Anzac Day.

While the Warriors have been able to rebound this week, there’s no such light for the Knights after a sixth straight loss.

A week after O’Brien apologized for his poor loss to Parramatta, the Knights were arguably worse off Sunday.

They kicked off in full, trailed 10-0 when they first got their hands on the ball in the 12th minute and finished just 15 sets and committed 13 errors.

Their only points came from a penalty goal as they trailed 26-0 at halftime.

Typical of the afternoon, Newcastle saw a Storm kick off go out on the first play of the second half to surrender possession.

Xavier Coates had another field day on Melbourne’s right wing with his hat-trick making seven tries in two games, while Harry Grant set up three tries from half misses.

Cameron Munster had a hand in two tries and scored one himself, as the Storm again made light work of the Knights’ shaky right edge defense and Justin Olam claimed a brace.

No better than that dominance shown then when Olam ignored four defenders ahead of his second try, having crossed with ease for Melbourne’s first.

Coates, meanwhile, had far too much pace for Newcastle and set up a try for half-back Jahrome Hughes when he bounced up the pitch after an ugly last tackle play.

In comparison, Newcastle’s halves struggled. Adam Clune battled a knee injury, while Clifford had a dog day on his first kickoff.

He later got the ball maxed out after the Knights’ first set on offense, while he and Clune finished with seven missed tackles between them.

Already struggling with a heavy injury record, Newcastle lost Sauaso Sue in the fourth minute to a concussion, while Hoy was also injured late and Kalyn Ponga appeared to be wearing his right arm.

He dropped the Knights under Canterbury to sit out for the first time since their last wooden spoon in 2017.


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