Storm hold out Knights in high-scoring NRL encounter

Melbourne have regained the NRL ladder lead from Cronulla after holding out Newcastle 36-28 in an "uncomfortable" battle, according to Storm coach Craig Bellamy.

The Knights have recently proved a handful for the Storm, winning their past two encounters, and they scored in the 76th minute to set up a grandstand finish at AAMI Park in their Sunday afternoon clash.

Bellamy was unhappy with the metres the Knights were able to make through the middle on their way to scoring five tries.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy wasn't happy with everything he saw as his side beat the Knights. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

"I'm glad we won, but just how many points we let in ... and they made a lot of line breaks through our middle, which was really disappointing," Bellamy said.

"I never felt comfortable at any time, to be quite honest.

"Newcastle have had a bit of a tough season with injuries, but the one thing I've noticed just watching their footy is they never give in, and I knew they weren't going to give in tonight."

Melbourne looked on track to cruise to victory when they piled on three tries in 12 minutes in the second half to race to a commanding 34-16 lead.

With his dad, former Illawarra Steelers and NSW star Rod Wishart, watching from the stands as part of the Storm's family round, Tyran Wishart continued to prove a worthy replacement for injured playmaker Cameron Munster.

Wishart crossed twice in that 12-minute burst, using his running game to combine with Jahrome Hughes in the halves to cause the Knights headaches.

Xavier Coates, backing up from Queensland's Origin victory, scored the other try with a spectacular aerial effort to dive over in the corner.

Centre Nick Meaney finished with a personal haul of 20 points, including two tries, five conversions and a penalty.

Melbourne Storm centre Nick Meaney.
Melbourne Storm centre Nick Meaney finished with a personal tally of 20 points, including two tries. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

Newcastle, who last week were shock 30-point losers to Canterbury, kept fighting, with Dane Gagai taking on the Storm defence and winning to give his team a sniff.

His centre partner Dylan Lucas also scored a try in each half, and 20-year-old fullback Fletcher Sharpe bagged a four-pointer in his NRL debut.

Enari Tuala missed an opportunity when Storm fullback Sua Faalogo knocked the ball loose from the winger over the tryline.

However, Tuala couldn't be denied a minute later after Jackson Hastings surprised by kicking cross-field on tackle one, with Hastings adding the extras to trail by six.

The Knights' hopes were dashed when Tyson Frizell was sin-binned for a professional foul in the final minute after taking out Wishart, with Meaney adding a further two points to put the game out of reach.

Knights coach Adam O'Brien was pleased with his side's response after last week's below-par showing.

"We're never content with losing, but it was a marked improvement on last week," O'Brien said.

"Most people, even our harshest critics, would agree that we certainly threw a lot more at what is a quality team.

"To get 28 points on Melbourne you're doing pretty well, but at the end of the day we go home disappointed, without the two points, but I'm proud of the fighting spirit that we showed."