Kurt Gidley leads Newcastle to a sloppy victory over Penrith

THE Newcastle Knights have kept their season alive with a gritty 4-point win over the struggling Penrith Panthers in Newcastle.

In a game riddled with errors and dominated by penalties the home side were able to dig themselves out of trouble and walk away with an important 2-points.

The Knights were boosted by the return of their Origin stars who were instrumental in the Knight's 16-12 victory.

It was all Knights early in the match with new five-eight Ryan Stigg impressing early in his first grade debut.

The debutant made a couple of nice breaks down the field before setting up Newcastle's first try in 17th minute after throwing a nice little inside pass to Neville Costigan who strolled over to score. Gidley added the extras to give the Knights a six-point lead.

The Panthers dominated possession for the remainder of the half with the Knights conceding some silly penalties, three in attack.

The Knights' lead was extended to 8 in the 33rd minute courtesy of a penalty goal kicked by Kurt Gidley from 30 out.

Despite a string of possession the Panthers remained scoreless in the first 40 due to some strong online defence from the Knights and a lack of creativity from the Penrith Playmakers.

The Panthers were over early in the second half, with Masada Iosefa scoring in the 44th minute on the back of a questionable pass from Luke Walsh. Travis Burns added the extras and the Newcastle lead was reduced to two.

A barrage of errors from both sides ensured the scores remained unchanged until the 64th minute when Akuila Uate strolled over the try line after a nice pass from Keith Lulia.

Both teams continued to make a bundle of errors and failed to mount pressure, but the Panthers finally hit back ten minutes later with Iosefa taking the defence with him over the try line. Luke Walsh added the extras and the match was headed for a thrilling finish.

However the Newcastle stayed composed under pressure and held on courtesy of some clever Kurt Gidley kicks trapping the Panthers in their own in-goal before a Gidley kicked a penalty goal on full-time to extend his side's lead to four and seal victory.

Match Details
Newcastle Knights 16 defeated Penrith Panthers 12
National Rugby League - Round 15 - Saturday June 18, 2011 5:30pm
Venue: Ausgrid Stadium
Referee: Gavin Badger and Tony De La Heras
Video Referee: Russell Smith
Touch Judges: Ricky MacFarlane and David Munro
Crowd: 16,652
Halftime: Newcastle Knights 8 Penrith Panthers 0

Tries: Neville Costigan, Akuila Uate
Conversions: Kurt Gidley (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Kurt Gidley (2/2)

Tries: Masada Iosefa (2)
Conversions: Travis Burns (1/1), Luke Walsh (1/1)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good Evening and welcome to Ausgrid Stadium Newcastle where the Newcastle Knights take on the Penrith Panthers.

There have been a few late changes to both teams. For the home side, Peter Matu’utia plays his second first grade game replacing James McManus on the wing. Ryan Stigg makes his NRL debut tonight replacing Tyrone Roberts.
Steve Southern has been moved to the starting side at lock with Joel Edwards moving to the bench.
For the Panthers Luke Lewis is out with Joseph Paulo moving from the centres to replace him at lock and Junior Vai Vai coming into the Centres. Petero Civoniceva comes into the side at prop with Tim Grant shifting to the bench.
In the Toyota Cup the Newcastle Knights walked away with a comfortable win, defeating the Panthers, 28-10.
1 min: Brad Tighe Kicks off and the match is under way.
2 min: Penalty against Luke Walsh for a high shot.
4 min: Ryan Stigg makes a nice little break before passing, only for Junior Sau to drop the pass.
6 min: Lachlan Coote puts up a bomb on the Newcastle 40, Waterhouse manages to catch the ball only to knock it on and hand posession to the Knights.
7 min: Brad Tighes is tackled into touch on his own 30. Let's see what Penrith can do with this field position.
9 min: A nice 20 metre run by Wes Naqaima after Luke Walsh put a little grubber into the in-goal on the last. Penrith concede a penalty after Simmons finally wraps Naqaima up.
10 min: Gidley puts up a bomb 20 metres out from the Penrith line. It's not a bad looking kick but it is knocked back by Simmons before he regathers it for Penrith.
10 min: Mata'utia nearly pulls off a nice little intercept try, but he is ruled to have knocked the ball on before gathering it and the Panthers get a scrum.
10 min: Mata'utia nearly pulls off a nice little intercept try, but he is ruled to have knocked the ball on before gathering it and the Panthers get a scrum.
10 min: Mata'utia nearly pulls off a nice little intercept try, but he is ruled to have knocked the ball on before gathering it and the Panthers get a scrum.
10 min: Another penalty to Newcastle. That's 3 penalties for the home side.
10 min: Penrith get their first penalty off the match. Uate is ruled to have stripped the ball from Simmons after Simmons easily diffuses a Ryan Stigg bomb.
15 min: Penrith knock the ball on again. Newcastle should make them pay here.
17 min: TRY
Costigan pulls of a one on one strip. Penrith concede another penalty and Costigan strolls over after a nice pass from Ryan Stigg. Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley is successful. Knights lead Panthers 6-0.
Newcastle Knights 6-0
20 min: Some end to end football here, after Penrith make some good metres up the field. Luke Walsh puts up a spiralling bomb on the last which is diffused by Knights only for Uate to incorrectly play the ball and hand possession back to the Panthers.
21 min: Nasty high shot on Coote from Mati-Uatia. It's on report.
22 min: Very untidy set from the Panthers ends with the ball going over the side line after a long pass from Walsh.
24 min: Nice run out of dummy half from Kevin Kingston. He puts in a nice little kick for Lachlan Coote which Uate cleans up but the Knights' winger is trapped in-goal.
26 min: Newcastle concede another penalty and the Panthers get another set.
27 min: Knights' on-line defence is looking good.
27 min: Nathan Smith passes the ball to Neville Costigan to take the Knights off the hook.
27 min: Kurt Gidley puts up a massive kick on the last from within his own half. It goes over 50 metres and just rolls dead.
28 min: Both sides are making some good metres from their sets at the moment.
30 min: Knights get another piggy back up the field after the Panthers concede another penalty.
30 min: Gidley puts in a grubber on the last, but there's just too much weight on it and it goes dead before the chases get to it.
32 min: Kingston throws a forward pass from dummy half and the Knights will get another shot at the Penrith try-line.
32 min: Penalty to the Knights against Waterhouse for not getting off a tackled player.
33 min: Newcastle will go for the 2. Not sure about that one he's 11 in from touch on the 30 metre line.
Kurt Gidley kicks a nice penalty goal. Newcastle lead 8-0.
Newcastle Knights 8-0
35 min: Kurt Gidley attempts a 40/20 on the last, it goes the distance, but also goes straight down the throat of Coote.
36 min: The Knights are penalised again for an incorrect play the ball. Uate is the offender again. Penrith on the attack.
38 min: Penrith get a repeat set after Sau is tackled in goal.
39 min: The Panthers lose the ball in the first play.
39 min: Nice break by Uate. Knights are 10 metres from halfway.
39 min: Knights concede a penalty after Edwards passes the ball after being tackled on the Penrith 10 metre line. That the third time the Knights have conceded a penalty while in attack.
40 min: That's the half kids. Newcastle have looked the most likely off the two teams and the score does not really do their first half effort justice.
41 min: We are under way in the second half.
42 min: Poor last tackle option from the Knights here with Kurt Gidley kicking for touch on the last tackle only 35 metres from the Penrith try-line.
43 min: Mistake by the Knights on their own 20 with Costigan losing possession.
44 min: TRY
Masada Iosefa goes over for the Knights after a questionable pass from Walsh. The pass looks pretty forward on the replays and the fans are not happy. Conversion attempt by Travis Burns goes between the uprights Newcastle 8 Penrith 6.
Newcastle Knights 8-6
49 min: Penrith keep persisting with the same plays on the last and coming up with squat.
50 min: Ryan Stigg makes a nice break only to be ankle tapped.
52 min: Civonceva knocks on only 10 metres out from the Knights' try line.
55 min: Naquama makes a 60 metre kick return only to lose the ball just before playing it. That's fairly disappointing it was a nice kick return.
56 min: Newcastle have won the scrum against the feed.
56 min: Newcastle get six again after the Panthers play at the ball on the last tackle for the Knights.
57 min: Fa'aso is pushed after playing the ball and Penrith gain possession.
58 min: Tighe loses the ball after a strong lifting tackle by Costigan.
60 min: Nathan Smith is penalised for a strip. But Gidley kicks the ball dead instead off to touch and it's a line drop out to the Knights.
60 min: Ryan Stigg almost scores a try on debut but just misses out.
61 min: Iosefa knocks on, Newcastle will get some more good field position.
64 min: TRY
Beautiful pass from Lulia to Uate and he is too fast for the cover defence and the Knights are over for the first time in the second half. Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley is successful.
Newcastle Knights 14-6
66 min: The Panthers run it on the last, and Nathan Smith makes a nice little break before chipping the ball and regathering. He passes the ball to Tighe who looks certain to score but knocks the ball off after being ankle tapped.
68 min: Lulia kicks it out on the full on the last and the Panther will get a set in the Newcastle half.
70 min: Nathan Smith knocks on after a nice jolting tackle from Joel Edwards.
72 min: Uate loses the ball 40 out from his own line.
74 min: TRY
Iosefa is over again after carrying a couple of Knights players with him over the try line. Conversion attempt by Luke Walsh is successful. It's a two point ball game. Newcastle 14 Penrith 12.
Newcastle Knights 14-12
78 min: Nice little chip kick from Gidley on the last and the Panthers are trapped in goal.
79 min: The Panthers are trapped in goal again after a neat little grubber by Gidley. Coote's drop out does not go the ten and the Knights will take the two.
Kurt Gidley kicks the penalty goal and that's the game.
Newcastle Knights 16-12

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