Gidley was simply in everything as his side condemned the 2008 Premiers to their fourth consecutive loss for the season. He played from fullback but seemed to pop up just about everywhere and his influence on the game grew as the game clock ticked along.
Manly were the better side for the first 10 minutes and it looked as though they might turn their season around with aggression in both attack and defence and this up-tempo play led to a try to Steve Matai in the sixth minute. That was about as good as it got for the next 73 minutes for the Premiers though and Matai fared even worse, leaving the field in a medi-cab in the 17th minute (shoulder).
Within the space of three minutes however, Ben Rogers changed the course of the game with two classy assists for tries (Zeb Taia 29th minute, Junior Sau 32nd minute) meaning the Knights went into the break with a four point lead.
Newcastle started the better in the second term and the under rated James McManus crashed over the top of Michael Bani three minutes in. From then on it became the Kurt Gidley show as he at times toyed with the defence. Two more tries (Aka Uate 59th minute, Gidley 71st minute) put Manly to bed and despite a last minute consolation to Shane Neumann.
It was another disappointing day for Manly, whose fans will be aching to see the return of test star Brett Stewart next week.
Match Details Newcastle Knights 26 vs Manly Sea Eagles 12 Round 4 - April 5th, 2009 3:00pm Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle Crowd: 15,324 Referee: Jared Maxwell & Alan Shortall Sideline Officials: Jeff Younis & David Abood Video Referee: Paul Simpkins Half time: Knights 10 - 6
Newcastle Knights 26 Tries: Zeb Taia, Junior Sau, James McManus, Aku Uate, Kurt Gidley Goals: Kurt Gidley (3/6) Manly Sea Eagles 12 Tries: Steve Matai, Shane Neumann Goals: Matt Orford (1/1), Shane Rodney (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Good afternoon all and welcome to Newcastle for todays clash between the Newcastle Knights and the reigning premiers, the Manly Sea Eagles. It