Akuila Uate scored a miracle try on the stroke of full-time and Kurt Gidley kicked a sideline conversion for the Newcastle Knights to snatch a miraculous 32-20 upset win over Melbourne in Newcastle tonight.
Down by 10 points with two minutes remaining, somehow the Knights scored two late tries through Travis Waddell and Uate to level the scores. Gidley then stepped up to kick his side to victory and spark wild celebrations from the battling club, who last week copped a 40-point flogging and sit in 14th place.
Uate's final strike overshadowed four tries to Melbourne wing Sisa Waqa. The loss broke the Storm's three-match winning run and stopped them progressing to the all-important top four spots.
While they looked largely in control until the finish, it was hardly convincing from the Storm. Coach Craig Bellamy would have been fuming at the way that each time his team scored, they let the Knights reply immediately.
In the build-up, Jordan McLean avoided an emotional first clash at Newcastle after the tragic Alex McKinnon tackle, having been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
The Storm started with intent, and it was no surprisethat they crossed first. Kiwis second-rower Kevin Proctor went through a gaping hole and put Billy Slater over for an all-too-easy strike.
Newcastle were sharp with ball in hand, but their defence lacked substance.
Waqa grabbed the first of his four-try bag with an intercept, running 50 metres untouched.
Finally, the Knights kicked into gear. In his 150th game Chris Houston crashed over after former NSW Origin finisher Uate beat three defenders down the right flank.
Tyrone Roberts made it two in as many minutes when he collected one of the ugliest tries you'll ever see when the halfback ended up with Gidley's cross-field bomb.
Quality teams strike before and after half-time and that's exactly what the Storm did when Slater laid on Waqa's second with a perfectly-timed cut-out pass which gave his side a 16-10 lead at the break.
The home side were far from done, though. Wing Chanel Mata'utia scored his first NRL try with a full-length mid-air dive in the corner, and centre Dane Gagai barged across from dummyhalf.
The Storm looked to have kicked clear but they underestimated Newcastle's fighting spirit.
Newcastle Knights 32 (Chris Houston, Chanel Mata'utia, Tyrone Roberts, Dane Gagai, Travis Waddell, Akuila Uate tries Kurt Gidley con 4) Melbourne Storm 30 (Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa 4, Will Chambers tries, Cameron Smith con 3). HT: 10-16.
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