No excuses for Newcastle after break - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No excuses for Newcastle after break

By Todd Balym 28/06/2009 12:31:25 PM Comments (0)

After the longest break in the NRL, Newcastle have absolutely no excuses ahead of Monday night's NRL clash with South Sydney at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

The Knights have not played for 17 days after losing 13-0 to the Warriors in Auckland on Friday, June 12 and having a bye last week.

But their opposition are equally rested, with South Sydney on a 16-day turnaround from their 28-22 defeat to Melbourne in Perth.

Knights assistant coach Rick Stone said the Novacastrians had no excuses for not snapping their two-game losing streak when they host the Bunnies.

Newcastle suffered successive defeats prior to the bye, including their first home loss of the year to Parramatta, and desperately need a win to maintain their position in the top eight.

"We were one of the last teams to have the bye and I think we were looking for the bye," said Stone.

"I don't think anyone has any excuses on Monday playing and showing their best form.

"We have had enough rest and a good preparation.

"We have obviously got the luxury of a 17-day turnaround which we don't get very often in the NRL.

"Everyone has had a good freshen up and hopefully a good break mentally.

"I suppose Souths are coming off the bye too. Not quite as long a break, only a day less. I expect both sides to come out fresh.

"Obviously the start is important, it will be a different situation with both teams coming off the bye. Whichever team handles that the best will win."

The Knights enjoyed a team camp at Nelson Bay during their near three week break, and will be boosted on Monday by the return of experienced centre Adam MacDougall (calf) and skipper Kurt Gidley from NSW duty.

The return to Newcastle could be just the tonic for Gidley to overcome his Origin blues, the star fullback going over a month since tasting victory as his last win for the Knights was back on May 16 against the Sydney Roosters in round 10.

"Obviously (Gidley) is pretty disappointed," said Stone.

"He is a proud captain and obviously understands what the second half of the season means to us.

"I think he will bounce back and look forward to definitely getting a win after a couple of disappointing games.

"They're big games Origin, it's like losing a grand final in the middle of the year.

"It's hard mentally to come back from those sort of things and bounce back.

"He is professional enough Kurt and he is passionate enough about hopefully the cause that we are doing here."

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