Knights thrash Manly 56-12 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Knights thrash Manly 56-12

By Daniel Pace 27/06/2004 07:22:16 PM Comments (0)

Mark Hughes spent Sunday's early hours in a Newcastle hospital thinking he had no chance of playing his comeback NRL match for the Knights against Manly.

His partner Kirralee was in labour and Hughes, who had been sidelined for six weeks with a hamstring injury, was preparing to ring coach Michael Hagan to say he was a late scratching.

Fortunately for the Knights, Kirralee, who will marry Hughes in December, did not waste any time bringing baby Zac into the world and her 27-year-old partner was able to take the field and bag a hat-trick of tries which helped the Knights to a 56-12 thrashing of Manly at EnbergyAustralia Stadium.

It was a day of celebration for the Knights which began when injured champion halfback Andrew Johns signed a new two-year deal with the club in the middle of the paddock to the cheers of just under 18,000 relieved Novocastrians.

It ended with a 10-try carve-up of the hapless Sea Eagles, with NSW Origin pair Danny Buderus and Timana Tahu both grabbing a brace of tries and Test prop Ben Kennedy making a successful comeback from a hamstring injury.

"I wanted to stay out there," said Kennedy, who played 70 minutes.

"To be honest I thought I was right three weeks ago but I couldn't get a clearance."

The only downside for the Knights was an ankle injury to Tahu, who will undergo MRI scans in the hope of being cleared to play for the Blues in the Origin decider on Wednesday week.

State of Origin Centre Matt Gidley suffered blurred vision and fullback Robbie O'Davis had a badly corked thigh.

Man-of-the match Hughes was naturally ecstatic after his long and fruitful day.

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