Melbourne Storm vs Newcastle Knights – *LIVE*
And there’s full-time, and the Knights will limp home to Newie like so much chopped liver. This Melbourne Storm are the NRL’s boa constrictor, except they also have a rattle in the tail like that deadly snake called a rattler that was on all the cowboy movies in the older days. Whatever – they have three champion players, and 14 work-horses, and this seems to do the trick. And good luck to them. Premiership favourites, this is the testing material.
78:41. And the death of this game comes slowly, despite Killer Uate running quite fast. And James McManus getting the double William Slater couldn’t. And if the Knights had played like this in the first 10 minutes rather than the last, they would have lost later rather than sooner. But Storm have switched off. They won this game in 1982. Junior Sau has a shot at goal that almost decapitates the Storm in their in-goal huddle. Junior thought it was funny. He could be concussed.
77:03. And Kurt Gidley’s hurt his knee kicking the goal. He should go off and have a nice cup of tea, put something cold on his knee. Junior Sau, maybe, or Timana T.
74:34. This game is over and has been for some period. Knights didn’t hold the ball as well as they could. But it’s hard to see how they could ever beat these Melbourne Storm people. Made to look reserve grade. And Neville Costigan is under the posts. 34-18 Storm.
70:10. Zeb Taia knocks on. If Phil Tufnell had dropped it he would’ve killed himself. And the Storm are in. Todd Lowrie, a player less fashionable than Catweazle’s hair shirt, scores and it’s 34-12. Storm are grouse.
68:30. Danny Buderus is off. And Jarrod Mullen scores a try. Coincidence? Yes. And that’s 28-12 Storm over Knights. Ten minutes to go. More chance of Newtown Jets winning.
67:29. My – but I dislike hearing Rabs plugging Channel Nine’s singing shows.
66:00. Cam Smith nails the conversion and it’s 28-6. Knights haven’t played that badly. But they’re being flogged. Storm are super. And if Billy Slater doesn’t get another double it’s because he’s walked off and watched the game from the pub.
63:26. Storm now, they’re going to win, it’s more certain than death and taxes unless you are a tax-dodger. Will Chambers is in, fine try from the centre-three-quarter, the Storm just grind you down and drag you out and spit you out like good chunky phlegm. And they will beat better teams than Newcastle Knights because of it.
61:11. Knights now, 10m out, they have nothing flashy, it’s all Saint Benny Functional. Well, that play wasn’t, they just passed it into touch after some quick-hands tap on. Rubbish. Penalty. And there’s been ten yards because Kurt Gidley said a naughty thing.
59:14. Penalty Newie. They’re down by 16 with twenty left. Good as gone without being thus … blah. That’s going nowhere. Here come the Knights. Junior Sau’s down. Kade Snowden gives a penalty away by milking a penalty that Matt Cecchin calls a penalty. Dr Quinn might be in some strife via the Video God Ref – in fact he’s hit Junior Sau high, late and without the ball. He’s got 2-3 weeks.
57:10. Augustus talking about a tackle, a third-man in grass-chopper or whatever they might be called, as not in the spirit of the game. But I dunno, quite a lot of other violence in the game is sanctioned. When blokes can’t see a tackler coming and are blind-sided, is that a Bad Thing? Or just the natural violence of rugby league? A debate for another time.
55:56. Knights kick. Storm return. Duffie. Quite a good wingman. You’d accept him out on the piss if you were chasing girls because he’s younger and probably better looking. Plus he’s really fast. Which would be handy if he steals someone’s handbag.
53:01. Top try William Slater, picked up a ball was bobbling, beat a bloke and stretched out in the one motion. Quite fine play. And now he’s a whisker from another double, the fourth man in history ever to notch that many in five straight games of footy. Dave Brown was one, he must’ve been good. Here come Storm. They spread to Chambers. Cronk. Slater. Smith. Widdop. Hoffman, tackled, metre out. Smith, kick, bad. And Junior Sau has it, his second contribution tonight after being clocked in the chops by Dr Quinn. Storm 22 Knights 6.
49:05. And the Storm power down the middle through a giant Sideshow Bob type called Kevin Proctor. Coopy Cr0nk having a typically fine and forthright game of rugby league here, he’s owning this match now that he’s got his Future sorted. Been wanting to talk to Cooper for a bit but he’s been Off Limits. They can put themselves Off Limits, these players, not sure how. I’d like to put myself Off Limits of the Police or the person who thinks I should pay the mortgage but I cannot. TRY Billy Slater. 22-6, they’re gone the Knights.
46:09.Storm truck it up, they don’t have Sika Manu who has a bad ankle. Three reserves, they’ll struggle, but they’re good. Coopy Cronk roosts the pill long and out, like John Holmes if he were gay. Big Sika on the sideline, he’s a big lump of Polynesia, big Sika. Wonder what it means in Tongan, Sika. Or is it just like “Steve” in anglo-Oz nomenclature, the posh word for names. 16-6 Melbourne Storm.
43:56. Knights truck it back. And kick. Knights monster Slater. Duffie trucks it up. Quinn has a crack. He isn’t … that good. Solid. But a poor man’s Jason Nightingale. Smith roosts for he can do it good as anyone. And Darius trucks it back up. Killer! Uate! Half the field, he runs, the Fijian flier who plays for NSW and for Australia too you’d warrant, he goes like a firecracker. Knights bomb. Duffie flies. Fine rugby league.
41:18. Fine ball play puts McManus away down the left wing but he’s not Linford Christie or a juiced-up Ben Johnson or the other fellah, the tall one from Jamaica – Bolt. The great fast lump of Jamaica Usain Bolt. Still pretty quick though, James McManus. But the Knights can’t convert. Storm ball. They truck it up before Cronk and Slater combine for some high-octane jiggy-pokery. But it’s still 16-6.
40:01. And so the teams run out again to contest this contest, for mine the Storm will win by 12 points. And I will have a carton with you either way.
38:19. And the Storm make Neville pay. They are not nobodies. They are Storm. And they are inexorable. Ryan Hoffman ends up with the pill after some fine ball-work by the inside backs – Smith, Cronk, Widdop. They’re a top outfit and at half-time it’s 16-6 not 12-all that it could have been had Neville held the pill. These Storm types are the boa constrictors of the NRL, except unlike the comp’s other stranglers, St George Illawarra Dragons, these guys have three of the best spinal chords the game’s ever seen. And that is half-time. And we’ll be back soon.
36:10. And here come the Knights, they truck it up for they must, they know no other way for it is rugby league and not reading a novel. Knock-on? Neville Costigan gets a bump as he’s playing the ball, pretty darned bad ball security, he would not get a job with Dunbar Armoured.
34:03. Here’s Kurty Gids lining up the conversion following the flying James McManus try, and that’s … 12-6 Knights, and those who bet on half-time draws will be daring to dream.
31:38. And so the Storm truck it downfield and bomb. Knights defuse. Truck it up. Earn a penalty when Todd Lowrie does some wrestling for long too long. Knights on the attack. Be handy for them to have Joey Johns now. But they do not. Kurt Gidley’s a fine player in the No.6, as is J.Mullen in the 7 who … pops a bunt-bomb over the top and a flying Knight-Man takes the catch and scooooooores. Try Knights. 12-4 Game.
29:57. Boring little ten minute box as both sides play no-mistakes footy until the Knights throw it wide to the Killer Uate who is tackled by many Storm. Notably William Slater, who is good in many facets.
25:04. Now what’s goin on. Some kicks, some tackles. Bit of bargy, some argy. Jason Ryles is on the field for the Storm, he’s been loyal to all of his 12 clubs. Can’t be on much money, Jason Ryles, you’d think there’d be more in Pommyland for a 30-something prop. Could be just me.
22:14. And the teams trade kicks and completed sets in the way of Modern Rugby League. Bit of ball movement, however, you can’t just bash-and-barge, and there’s a bit to keep these local league fans happy. Mind you I don’t think they care about “entertainment” like neutral fans might. Fans care about their team smashing the other team. And repeat. They care not for aesthetics. Beat em by 50 and they wouldn’t care if the neutral fans literally asphyxiated through boredom. True story. Ask yourself.
19:23. And here come the boogy Knights of the Steel City, they have some good players but Melbourne have three in the Top-10 of the comp, and are drilled better than Ryobi’s you-beaut … whatever it is. I don’t give a fuck about drills. Some people do and good luck to them. Here come the Storm, they’re inside the 20. They lose it, however, and Bellyache’s stats man does not register a completion. Loves a completion, Bellyache. Loves a completion.
16:54. Tell you who’s a good player and that is Cameron Smith. He’s got less body than many shampoos but he moves the ball around the field like King Wal redux. Soft hands and super vision, he’s a lot of player, this fellow. Apparently it takes about six minutes for him to grow a beard. He almost scores! But does not. Oh! One play later Coopy Cronk bombs for Dr Quinn on the wing, and that’s a 22 tap.
16:02. Anthony Quinn lays one on Junior Sau who’s knocked out temporarily, a tackle not that much different to Big Frank Pritchard’s hit on old mate the other week except this one didn’t put the attacking man to sleep.
14:19. And so the Knights kick-off again, they might get used to that this evening. Heritage jumpers on the Storm boys, that means they have yellow collars, they’ve only been around 5 minutes, but they’ve won more premierships than lots of clubs, particularly Cronulla.
11:26. Knights with the pill … but not for long. There’s a knock-on by a Big Pig and the Storm go 80 metres to score an exciting Meat Pie. Kade Snowden got one on the bootlaces, didn’t have the dexterity, and Will Chambers fed Matt Duffie who ran like a hairy goat marked for gelding. And that’s 10-blot the Storm, Cameron Smith won’t miss this, it’ll be 12 in a sec … in a sec … he comes … in … and that’s 12-0. They’re good, Storm. Perhaps even tops.
09:05. Knights whack it downfield because Wayne Bennett knows how to win games of rugby league, largely not rocket science – hold the ball, muscle up, put on some jiggy-pokery in the other mob’s 20. And repeat. BIG HIT Timana Tahu, he really times those well the occasionally crazy cat, he can play the greatest game of all rugby league. Saw him once playing rugby for West Harbour in the wet at Coogee Oval, he looked less interested than a scho0l-kid doing four years of detention.
06:51. Cam Smith adds the extras and the Knights kick-off because they must, it is the rules. Can a team have three Champions and 14 journeymen and win the NRL premiership? They are a fine and well-drilled outfit and muscle-up better than many illegal gym-drugs.
03:37. Sustained pressure from the Category 5 storm that is Melbourne Storm, they are a fine outfit, and no argument. They force a Repeat Set, that building block of winning rugby league, and the Knights are on the hop. And some tackles later – TRY – neat-moving Englishman Gareth Widdop is over near the posts, and the Inexorable Storm are 4-0, kick to come. And here’s the blinding white choppers of the girl from Sportsbet, her teeth could search for the Luftwaffe by night.
01:26. Wow. Forty-20 by Coopy Cronk the 2.4 million dollar Cooper Cronk, and he points to the crowd like … yah, I’m Coopy Cronk, and that’s a super forty-20. Something like it. But it was a find touch-finding kick. Top little rule that forty-20, I know a bloke reckoned he invented it but didn’t get the credit. He is borderline crazy, however.
00:00. And there, incredibly, after a thousand Bad Ads for shows you would never watch unless tortured, the Storm kick-off and there is the tradtional “softening up” period of rugby league, known as the first set of six. Which ends with William Slater taking a bomb, and it’s 0-0 after 1:11.
T-minus 12 minutes or thereabouts before the Melbourne Storm (4-4) beat up on the Newcastle Knights (2-2) in Round 5 of the National Rugby League at AAMI Park in Melbourne, a fine stadium. Good Times will be writing something of a play-by-play piece of gibber here for the next 80 minutes if Channel Nine ever take off their ads for Celebrity Apprentice, a television show that promises to be worse than diseases they could not cure in olden times, like the Black Plague, and Gout. That bad.
But here’s the footy! Jon Bon Jovi, the poor man’s Tina Turner, telling types This Is Our House because rugby league is a little insecure of its place in the Australian sports firmament in the face of the Scary Monster that is AFL.
Something like it. But we’re five minutes away. And we’ll be back for kick-off … soon.
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