Knights woes worsen with 39-14 loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Knights woes worsen with 39-14 loss

By Sharon Mathieson 19/03/2005 07:32:31 PM Comments (0)

Believe it or not, things got even worse for the Newcastle Knights.

Another humiliating loss, another injury to star halfback Andrew Johns and, to top it off, one of the few senior players in the team, five-eighth Matthew Gidley, was placed on report.

Canberra, itself without two senior players, had little trouble posting a 39-14 victory over the Knights in their National Rugby League clash at Canberra Stadium.

It was the Raiders' first outing of the year after a bye in the opening round but the home team was without second rower Ian Hindmarsh (calf injury) and lock Michael Hodgson, who missed the match as his wife Sally went into labour to give birth to their first child.

Johns made it through the entire 80 minutes but he was obviously struggling with a hip injury that restricted his training all week.

The 30-year-old limped through much of the match and made a handful of unforced, and uncharacteristic, errors.

Newcastle is already without 12 first grade players, including Danny Buderus (foot), Kurt Gidley (quad), Clint Newton (suspended) and Mark Hughes (rib), and is still overcoming its pre-season crisis.

To make matters worse, Gidley could find himself suspended after being placed on report in the 33rd minute for a high tackle on lock Alan Rothery.

And the 39-14 slaughter, on the back of last week's dismal 48-10 loss to Melbourne, did nothing for the Knights' confidence.

It took just five minutes for the Raiders to get the first points on the board when recruit Lincoln Withers made a break from his own line after Newcastle failed to score and fullback Clinton Schifcofske grounded the ball under the posts.

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