Knights crush Panthers 40-4 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Knights crush Panthers 40-4

By David Beniuk 26/08/2006 09:34:32 PM Comments (0)

Departing Newcastle centre Matt Gidley's two first-half tries helped end Penrith's hopes of making the NRL finals, with the Knights posting a crushing 40-4 victory at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

St Helens-bound Gidley, playing his 219th first-grade and possibly his last home game for the Knights, scored signature four-pointers in the 14th and 27th minutes as Newcastle put Penrith out of business for 2006 and confirmed the eight contenders for the NRL premiership.

The Knights scored eight tries to one and posted back-to-back wins without suspended skipper Andrew Johns for the first time in more than two years.

It was always going to be an emotional night for Newcastle, who were also farewelling coach Michael Hagan wingers Brian Carney (Golf Coast) and Anthony Quinn (Melbourne), injured prop Craig Smith (retiring) and utility Todd Lowrie (Parramatta).

Gidley led the side out on to the field, accompanied by his young daughter, through a guard of honour of ex-Knights players to be cheered wildly by the 23,655-strong crowd.

Newcastle, which has the bye next week, now has a shot at the top four which ironically would mean a home-ground encore from Hagan, Gidley and co.

After Penrith had opened the scoring in the fifth minute through a Michael Gordon try, Gidley got his side on the board when, from 10m out, he beat two defenders and dragged a third Panthers player over the line.

He got his side's second try with an angled 10m run after a clever inside ball from brother Kurt soon after an error from Penrith lock Trent Waterhouse inside his own 30m zone.

With Newcastle captain Danny Buderus held up in the 33rd minute, the momentum had swung the way of the home side.

Fullback David Seage scored the Knights third in the 34th minute when he burst on to a clever short pass from second rower Clint Newton before big prop Luke Davico touched down after a barnstorming effort in the last minute of the half, Daniel Abraham's conversion taking the score to 22-4 at the break.

Penrith needed to score first after the break but the Knights had stretched the lead to 30-4 with two tries by the 62nd minute, both involving Johns' 19-year-old understudy Jarrod Mullen.

His bomb led to an Anthony Quinn touch-down in the 51st minute before he burst on to a pass from the winger in the 62nd to sprint 45m to the line.

Prop Josh Perry and centre George Carmont scored late tries in the 75th and 79th minutes.

The Knights last won back-to-back matches without their skipper in rounds 21 and 22 during the 2004 season.

Penrith needed to win the match to sit two points outside the eight and keep its mathematical finals chance alive.

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