Knights need to repeat passion: Gidley - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Knights need to repeat passion: Gidley

21/08/2009 05:15:38 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle skipper Kurt Gidley has issued a rallying cry for the Knights to match the intensity levels shown in their drought-breaking victory for new coach Rick Stone last week.

Just two days after Brian Smith was sacked as Knights boss, Newcastle produced an inspired 26-14 win over Melbourne last Monday to snap a three-game losing streak and climb back into the NRL top eight.

The task doesn't get any easier on Saturday, with North Queensland riding into EnergyAustralia Stadium for a game that could decide the finals aspirations for both sides.

A victory for the Knights would go a long way towards securing a finals berth by putting a four-point buffer over the Cowboys, one of their seven rivals fighting for the last four places in the top eight.

And Gidley, playing his 150th NRL game, says there is no excuse for the Knights not to replicate the emphatic performance they delivered in Stone's debut.

"I try to play the same level every week no matter what the circumstances and I know after last week it was a good confidence builder for us," Gidley said.

"(We have had) a couple of good training sessions, a shorter week. But if we tick all the boxes at training this week and do similar stuff as we did last week, we'll go well.

"Last week was a good result for us at home and with this week and our last home game to go, there's not too many left for the fans to get out and enjoy it so it'll be nice to finish on a good note.

"I knew it was sort of close, but 150 games is something to be proud of I guess.

"It's nice to have it in front of the home fans and in front of my family, so it'll be good to get a good result."

The Knights have injury concerns on the short turnaround however with forwards Danny Wicks (sternum) and Steve Simpson (concussion) in doubt, along with wingers Keith Lulia (ankle) and Cooper Vuna (knee).

The Cowboys are coming off the 22-12 loss to the Bulldogs last week, and coach Neil Henry has put a rocket into his side this week demanding more from the backline that includes two of the world's best attacking players Johnathan Thurston and Matt Bowen.

Henry's comments will make the Knights even more wary of the lethal Thurston-Bowen combination.

"There's always quality players in every team we come across, so no change this week with those two guys, they're pretty hard to contain," Gidley said.

"He (Thurston) is one of the world's best players and he is always hard to control and defend against.

"As much possession as we can have the better, and what we did last week was defend well and if we have the same principles as we did last week this week, I think we'll go well to contain him."

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