Jobs pile up for 'Mr Everything' Gidley - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jobs pile up for 'Mr Everything' Gidley

By Steve Jancetic 18/07/2008 03:36:53 PM Comments (0)

Already the side's fullback, hooker and halfback, Newcastle's 'Mr Everything' Kurt Gidley will add yet another job to an already full sheet against Cronulla on Saturday night - Knights captain.

Gidley will lead Newcastle into the vital NRL encounter after stand-in skipper Steve Simpson was ruled out with an ankle injury.

Simpson himself had been filling in with the 'c' beside his name for club captain Danny Buderus but after rolling his ankle at training on Thursday morning was ruled out.

While the addition in responsibility is unlikely affect Gidley too much, the loss of yet another experienced cog may make taking the two points away from Toyota Stadium akin to mission impossible.

Joining Simpson and Buderus on the sidelines will be Adam MacDougall with the veteran centre unable to recover from a calf strain, the addition of second stringers Marvin Karawana and Mark Taufua in place of MacDougall and Simpson respectively giving the Knights a youngish look.

All of which will put more pressure on Gidley to reproduce the heroics of last weekend, when the Test utility played fullback in defence and interchanged between hooker and halfback in attack to almost single-handedly carry the Knights to an upset victory over Penrith.

Newcastle coach Brian Smith said Gidley would continue bob up in any number of positions against the Sharks.

"You could ask me that question for as long as Kurt continues to play and I continue to coach him because that's what he's been doing pretty much since I've been here," Smith said.

"He's had a very loose role in attack, he's been able to do what he wants.

"If anything he's actually tied down a bit while doing what we asked of him last week because he's actually got to go to dummy half quite a bit."

Any chance the Knights had of catching the Sharks off guard were quashed in Cronulla's embarrassing 34-6 loss to Manly last weekend.

The loss cost Cronulla top spot on the ladder and sparked the inevitable questions about another end of season collapse, but Sharks prop Ben Ross said the nature of the heavy defeat had given his side the wake-up call it needed.

"It hurts, I'm still filthy, I can't wait to (play again)" Ross said.

"My missus hates me losing because she has to then put up with it all week.

"Manly produced semi-final football and we've got a fair few guys who just weren't used to that. Manly produced an 80 minute effort and showed they could play for the whole 80.

"We've produced it in spurts, we've shown we can play 40, 60, even 70 minutes, it's probably those 10 minutes that the boys are lacking, but that will come with experience."

Of the prospect of another late season fade-out, Ross said: "Look at the Roosters, they lost but no-one's talking about them choking, they're on the same amount of points as us.

"A loss is a loss, it's how you come back from it and how you combat it, it was uncharacteristic of the way we've been playing."

Cronulla hooker Isaac De Gois, who will join Newcastle next season, is a confirmed starter after overcoming a rib complaint.

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