Gidley keen to spoil Lockyer's party - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gidley keen to spoil Lockyer's party

By Todd Balym and Wayne Heming 01/05/2009 03:53:22 PM Comments (0)

Kurt Gidley has all the respect in the world for Darren Lockyer, but he still wants to play the spoiler in the Brisbane captain's quest for major milestones.

Lockyer will play his 300th NRL game at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Saturday, with Gidley's Newcastle side determined not to let the champion five-eighth celebrate the achievement with a victory.

It probably won't be the only time Lockyer and Gidley cross paths as captains in 2009.

Novocastrian Gidley is likely to oppose the Queensland star as NSW skipper in the State of Origin series this year as the Maroons seek a record fourth straight series win.

"He is a champion bloke and a champion player," said Gidley on Lockyer.

"Congratulations to him on 300 games, it's a great effort. But hopefully he won't be celebrating a win."

Lockyer's milestone is one of the many intriguing sub-plots to this clash as the likely inclusion of Newcastle halfback Jarrod Mullen sets up a shootout for the NSW No.7 jersey with Brisbane's Peter Wallace.

Wallace is the leading contender for the Blues position but, along with teammates Nick Kenny and Sam Thaiday, he has battled flu-like symptoms this week.

"We didn't do much this morning it was a pretty light session," said coach Ivan Henjak.

"We got a couple of illness concerns there's a few boys with some effects of the `flu.

"We'll monitor things over the next 24 hours but we should be right."

While Lockyer has made it clear to his teammates he doesn't want them to focus on his milestone this week, Wallace said winning for the skipper was a motivating factor along with banking competition points ahead of the representative season.

The Broncos lead the NRL table with six wins and need as many points as they can with the side likely to lose up to eight players with Test and Origin commitments in the coming months.

"300 games for the skipper, we will all be putting our best in for him," said Wallace.

"But I think the fact that it's not long until Origin and we will be missing players then so I think the weeks leading up to Origin are pretty important to get as many points as we can in the bank to get beyond that Origin stage."

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