Tag Archive: Kurt Gidley


Gidley ruled out

Newcastle captain Kurt Gidley has been ruled out of the Knights’ round two clash with North Queensland with a back injury in a major blow ahead of Saturday night’s clash. Gidley was forced from the field with back spasms during the Knight’s 42-8 win over Penrith on Sunday. He was cleared of any serious damage after undergoing scans on Monday and named at fullback on Tuesday. But the Knights today decided to take no risks with the injury responding slower than expected to treatment. Gidley has been replaced by former Wests Tigers fullback Shannon McDonnell. Newcastle spokeswoman Michelle Smit said Gidley was only ever a 50 per cent chance of playing when Rick Stone named the side. “He was hoping the back would have settled down by now, but it hasn’t responded as well as he hoped so he’s out,” she said.

De Gois injury given the thumbs down

Newcastle’s bright start to the NRL season has quickly been grounded, with crafty hooker Isaac De Gois undergoing surgery for a broken thumb. As the worst fears for star recruit Neville Costigan were also confirmed, De Gois went under the knife on Monday afternoon and could miss a month of football. The Knights shot to an early season first place on the ladder with Sunday’s resounding 42-8 win over Penrith but now head to Townsville to play North Queensland without De Gois, Costigan and possibly captain Kurt Gidley. Coach Rick Stone had been hopeful De Gois had jarred the thumb at Centrebet Stadium. “He’s got a fracture at the base of his thumb which is going to keep him out for three to four weeks,” Stone told AAP. Costigan, a premiership winner with St George Illawarra last year, will miss 3-4 months. “He’s really disappointed, Nev, he had a big pre-season, first game for the club,” Stone said. “He leads a lot with his actions and he had brought a bit of that toughness to us. Continue reading

Knights win, but add to mounting NRL injury toll

Newcastle made a flying start to the new NRL season with a 42-8 thumping of Penrith at Centrebet Stadium on Sunday. The Knights showed great fluency in attack, with halfback Jarrod Mullen scoring a try and laying on a couple more in a dominant display. The quality of their performance suggests the Knights could be surprise packets this year, but they won’t want to get too carried away given the Panthers’ ineptitude. Early indications are it could be a long season for Penrith, who finished second in 2010. Matt Elliott’s men could barely get out of first gear and looked toothless in attack – with their only try coming from Lachlan Coote after the fulltime siren had sounded. The home side made a whopping 21 errors and conceded four penalties for indiscretions off restarts. Three were for being offside kick-offs and drop outs and one after booting out dead-on-the-full. Newcastle coach Rick Stone couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season performance-wise, but he has come out of the match with some injury worries. Continue reading

Knights 32 – Sharks 10

Newcastle have shown their willingness to play attacking rugby league, scoring six tries in a 32-10 trial win over Cronulla at Olympic Park, Muswellbrook on Saturday night. Although the first points were not posted until the 26th minute the crowd of around 4,000 witnessed on open and expansive game of rugby league on a balmy night in the Upper Hunter Valley. Knights try-scoring sensation Akuila Uate carried two defenders across the line to open the scoring. Kurt Gidley converted for a 6-0 lead with Junior Sa’u extending the home side’s lead to 10-0 two minutes before the break. Knights hooker Isaac De Gois scored a double as did Sa’u. Gidley’s fullback deputy Shannon McDonnell scored on 52 minutes to take the score to 22-0 before the Sharks first try, to fullback Nathan Gardner, on the hour. Matt Wright scored another consolation try for the Sharks on the full-time siren.

Once the season proper starts I will be looking at each team and some of their key players as we get closer to the start of the silly season – the bye rounds and I’ll use “Dream Team Pro” so at least their will be a bit more information and statistics than last year.

Every year round 9 has a huge impact on coaches with ½ the NRL clubs (8) having their first bye round.  No doubt everyone has had a good look at bye rounds when developing a strategy for the 2011 campaign and finalising your 25-man squad before the round 1 kick of on March 11. 

There is no point in talking about individual players before there is some form on the board so I’ll just point out a couple of other things for the newer coaches to Dream Team that you will need to take into consideration when finalising on your squad.  Continue reading

McDonnell in doubt for Knights

Newcastle Knights’ fullback Shannon McDonnell is in doubt for Saturday night’s do-or-die clash against St George Illawarra at EnergyAustralia Stadium after suffering a hamstring injury at training. McDonnell, who has been a revelation for the Knights at fullback this season, limped off the training paddock on Tuesday afternoon with a hamstring strain and will be racing the clock to be fit for this weekend’s crucial fixture. “He had a little twinge in his hammy there so I suppose we won’t really know for 24 hours now or even a little bit longer just how he is,” Knights coach Rick Stone told the media on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s always tough trying to get everyone to the post every week but hopefully it’s not too serious, and he’ll be able to do something by Thursday.” If McDonnell is unable to play, Stone has a couple of options at his disposal. He could move State of Origin representative Kurt Gidley back to the custodian role and bring Scott Dureau to partner Jarrod Mullen in the halves. But with Gidley and Mullen striking up a formidable combination in the past few weeks, a more likely scenario would see Wes Naiqama come in as a straight swap for the Number 1 jersey. Stone said there were two other injury concerns with Gidley and Adam MacDougall carrying minor medical complaints but he was 100 per cent confident both would pay this weekend. “Doogs (Adam MacDougall) has a slight concussion, so his training has been lighter than usual, and Kurt has a wrist injury we are trying to nurse him through, but there are no other major concerns apart from Shannon.”

With the finals almost upon us there maybe some coaches looking for options to strengthen their line up and give them an edge over their opposition. 

There is very little difference between the top teams in fact most of the top teams in the NEX and Dream Team share a lot of the same players across all key positions.   That makes it very difficult to get a win as the round 20 match up between the Sonors and the Cougars showed.  There was only 12 points separating them after both posted 800 plus scores.  

In the next two weeks I’ll review all the key positions and review a couple of players worth talking about.  Some of it will be old news but I’ll try and provide a different spin on it.  

The fullback’s will be the first position I’ll review.  The table explains it’s self with the last two columns looking at scores over 30.   Continue reading

Stone wields axe – Four cut

Knights coach Rick Stone has dropped four regular first-graders to the NSW Cup to put his underperforming team on notice that he has had enough of their mediocrity. After three straight losses, and one win from six home games, Newcastle’s premiership campaign is teetering on the brink of oblivion and Stone has responded by relegating halfback Scott Dureau, fullback Shannon McDonnell, utility forward Cameron Ciraldo and centre Keith Lulia to the second-tier Central Coast Centurions. Stone named NSW captain Kurt Gidley in his regular fullback position for the must-win game against Parramatta at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Monday night, and selected Ben Rogers and Jarrod Mullen in the halves. Returning from a two-game suspension, Rogers will play five-eighth and Mullen halfback in place of Dureau and Gidley, who have worn the No.7 jersey in Newcastle’s past two losses, to the Warriors and Panthers.

Gidley to half, almost set in Stone

NEWCASTLE halfback Scott Dureau has paid the price for some substandard defence in the loss to the Gold Coast with skipper Kurt Gidley poised for a move into the halves this weekend. Despite again being named at halfback for the Knights yesterday, The Daily Telegraph has learnt that Dureau will be axed from the side to meet Sydney Roosters on Saturday night in Gosford. With Jarrod Mullen out for up to a month with a torn ankle ligament, coach Rick Stone will opt for a new-look scrumbase pairing against the Roosters. Gidley will move from fullback to halfback with Ben Rogers recalled at five-eighth. Shannon McDonnell was not named in the squad but will come into the starting side at fullback. Coach Stone has little or no depth to work with and now finds himself with Mullen joining a growing injury list that includes Adam MacDougall, Zeb Taia, Wes Naiqama and James McManus. MacDougall, Naiqama and McManus are due back within a week or two while Mullen and Taia will struggle to return before round 13.

More injury concerns to consider

In the NRL casualty ward there are 84 first-grade players worth more than $12 million who are out of action from between one week to the entire season. The figure was calculated using $150,000 as the average player wage. Some of those to consider are Tim Moltzen who will find out today if he is expected to be ruled out for the season, Club trainers immediately feared the 21-year-old had suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament strain but are waiting for the results of yesterday’s scans before making a final diagnosis. Other concerns coming from the Cowboys v Tigers match include James Tamou (concussion) Gareth Ellis (Broken Nose, Tooth Loss) Aaron Payne (lateral ligament tear in ankle.) and Todd Payten (Calf). The Knights have also been dealt a serious blow in their bid to revive their sluggish 2010 season against the Cowboys on Saturday night. Six key players are battling injuries and in doubt. Captain Kurt Gidley (knee), Mat Hilder (shoulder), Daniel Tolar (shoulder), Evarn Tuimavave (ankle), Ben Rogers (elbow) and Scott Dureau (hip) are uncertain starters. Souths captain Roy Asotasi, who strained a knee on Saturday night, is a strong chance to be named to take on the Eels after he completed a full recovery session with teammates. Sydney City Roosters Hooker James Aubusson looks to looks to be sidelined for a month or more with a tear in his medial ligament on Sunday and no damage was done to the anterior cruciate ligament which kept him sidelined for the back end of 2009.