Gidley inspires Knights' win over Titans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gidley inspires Knights' win over Titans

27/06/2010 06:58:14 PM Comments (0)

No disrespect intended, but Newcastle Knights coach Rick Stone is set to become rugby league's "worst judge in the world".

After watching Kurt Gidley inspire Newcastle's 24-16 NRL upset over the Gold Coast Titans at Skilled Park on Sunday, Stone launched a passionate case for his Knights skipper to be retained as NSW Origin captain.

"I thought the skipper at the back was outstanding. He was probably the difference in the game to be honest," he said of his fullback.

"If he's not NSW captain and fullback I am the worst judge in the world."

But it appears Stone's words will fall on deaf ears.

After copping heat for making Gidley the first NSW skipper in Origin history to start on the bench in game two, Blues selectors are tipped to hand the reins to Cronulla veteran Trent Barrett in his interstate swansong.

Not only will Gidley not be starting No.1, he is again expected to be retained on the Blues bench when the Origin III side is named on Monday night.

But if Gidley was sweating on the announcement, it didn't show on Sunday.

Indeed NSW selectors would be forgiven for having second thoughts about benching Gidley after his inspirational hand on Sunday.

Apart from four crunch conversion kicks - including two from the sideline - Gidley seemed to be in everything as the Knights kicked on from their 18-12 halftime lead.

If there were any doubts about man of the match honours, they evaporated in the final 10 minutes when Gidley cut down a rampant Brad Meyers - one of three try saving tackles.

Gidley's heroics were typified by taking down Meyers - all 190cm, 103kg of him - just metres from the line.

Meyers is big enough - but add his flowing red locks and woolly beard and the frontrower is a fearsome sight indeed.

"He's a pretty scary guy when he's coming through the line, but it's part of my job to tackle him," Gidley said.

Asked about the NSW captaincy, Gidley said: "I haven't thought about it until that last game.

"It would be nice to be named just to start with," he said.

"I will be relaxed until the team is named on Monday night and see what happens from there."

Gidley admitted he relished his time on the paddock following a nightmare time off it dealing with the fallout over the sensational departure from NSW Origin II camp of good friends Timana Tahu and Andrew Johns.

"It's good to come back from a tough couple of weeks like that and into a footy team who are a good bunch of blokes - that's the reason you play the game," Gidley said.

The four-tries-to-three victory kept the Knights (6-9 record) in the finals hunt.

But Titans coach John Cartwright was not a happy camper after the Gold Coast (9-6) missed a chance to jump into outright third.

Adding injury to insult, winger David Mead (knee) and centre Sam Tagataese (shoulder) went down in the first half and didn't return.

"It's just disappointing because there was an opportunity to skip clear of a pack chasing us," Cartwright said.

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