Newcastle have caused somewhat of an upset victory tonight at the foot of the mountains, defeating Penrith 30-18 in front of a brave 10,239 people at CUA Stadium.
Penrith started well, skipping out 8-0 early through soft Newcastle defence and Trent Waterhouse was the tryscorer there before an easy penalty goal put them even further ahead.
Despite an early penalty count seeing the Knights defend plenty of sets in the first 20 minutes, they did manage to strike back and eventually lead by the half-hour mark, before a Penrith try before halftime took the score to an even 12-all.
Gidley's dominance over the match began to shine as the second half got underway, the Knights getting out to an 18-12 lead as Chris Houston scored the first of his two tries. It was short lived of course, Penrith scoring what was to be the final of their tries through again Waterhouse.
From there on in, Newcastle managed to swing possession in their favour and rarely looked back. An easy penalty goal (from one of the few penalties they received) and then a try shortly after opened up an eight point lead and it was then all over-red rover.
Houston managed to bag his double on fulltime and Newcastle ultimately go home with the points. They'll move onto Toyota Stadium next, Cronulla on Saturday night never an easy task, while Penrith have a Saturday evening clash against the Titans up on the 'Coast - no easy task for any NRL team.
Match Details Newcastle Knights 30 def Penrith Panthers 18 Round 18 :: July 11th, 2008 7:45pm Venue: CUA Stadium Referee: Gavin Badger Touch Judges: Steve Chiddy, Bernard Sutton Video Referee: Steve Clark Halftime: 12-all Crowd: 10,239
Penrith Panthers (18) Tries: Trent Waterhouse (2), Brad Tighe Goals: Lachlan Coote (3/4) Newcastle Knights (32) Tries: Kurt Gidley, Chris Bailey, Chris Houston (2), Daniel Tolar Goals: Kurt Gidley (5/5)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Kurt Gidley (Knights) 2 Points: Chris Houston (Knights) 1 Point: Trent Waterhouse (Panthers)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
PANTHERS: 1. Rhys Wesser 2. Lachlan Coote 3. Michael Jennings 4. Maurice Blair 5. Brad Tighe 6. Wade Graham 7. Luke Lewis 8. Tony Puletua 9. Masada Iosefa 10. Petero Civoniceva (C) 11. Frank Pritchard 12. Trent Waterhouse 13. Nathan Smith Interchange: 14. Matthew Bell 15. Junior Moors 16. Tim Grant 17. Luke Priddis; Reserves: 18. Michael Gordon KNIGHTS: 1. Wes Naiqama 2. James McManus 3. Junior Sau 4. Adam MacDougall 5. Cooper Vuna 6. Chris Bailey 7. Jarrod Mullen 8. Daniel Tolar 9. Kurt Gidley 10. Mark Taufua 11. Steve Simpson (c) 12. Cory Paterson 13. Zeb Taia Interchange: 14. Richard Fa Like