The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Both sides were down on form and it showed in the opening exchanges with the teams, looking to get to their kick and play field possession.
It took one error to open the game up though, Brad Tighe's drop ball giving Newcastle the ball and after quick hands, James McManus went over in the corner.
Newcastle opened their shoulders with a line break from James McManus finding five eighth Jarrod Mullen who backed up on the inside for the second home team try of the evening. Gidley converted and it was 10-0.
It took 206 minutes of football but Penrith finally had points on the board. Travis Burns toed a loose ball forward and Michael Jennings finished the movement after hogging the ball earlier the set. All that mattered was Penrith crossed the tryline and it was 10-4.
The hometown boy returned, on the 30 minute mark. Wille Mason took his first hit up as a Knight and earnt them a penalty.
Another piece of quick hands gave Newcastle their third try, with Timana Tahu shrugging off some would be defenders to send Zeb Taia in for the third try. Gidley converted from near the touchline, making it 16-4 at halftime.
Penrith came out with intent in the second half, they had a few opportunities gifted from Newcastle knock ons but the closest they would come, was Michael Jennings losing it over the tryline.
Newcastle waited and their patience paid off, Timana Tahu pounced on an errant pass from Clint Newton and streaked away despite the attention of Blake Austin. The game was put to bed in the 55th minute when Matt Hilder split the markers and broke the dam with a pass to send Gidley away for a 28-4 lead.
The big story from tonight was injuries and their implications for New South Wales. Danny Buderus (Achilles Heel), Kurt Gidley (Shoulder), Michael Jennings (Shoulder) and Luke Lewis left the field with 15 to play didn't bode well for Origin 1.
As a contest, the game was over after Gidley's try but Penrith doubled their points when Clint Newton did well to slam the ball down, making it 28-8 and the game winding down.
The errors continued and Newcastle added another try to their tally when Neville Costigan went straight through three defenders to find the tryline. Wes Naiqama stood up to take the conversion in Gildey's absence and made it 34-8.
An unlikely brace from Clint Newton who pounced on a kick similar to Marshall;'s yesterday to grab his second and get Penrith into double figures. Newcastle ran out convincing winners 34 points to 14.
Newcastle Knights 34 defeated Penrith Panthers 14
National Rugby League - Round 8 - Monday April 30, 2012 7:00pm
Venue: Hunter Stadium
Referee: Gerard Sutton and Alan Shortall
Video Referee: Russell Smith
Touch Judges: Nick Beashel and Chris Butler
Halftime: Newcastle Knights 16 Penrith Panthers 4
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (34)
Tries: Kurt Gidley, Timana Tahu, Jarrod Mullen, James McManus, Zeb Taia, Neville Costigan
Conversions: Kurt Gidley (4/5), Wes Naiqama (1/1)
PENRITH PANTHERS (4)
Tries: Clint Newton (2), Michael Jennings
Conversions: Travis Burns (1/2), Luke Walsh (0/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to Hunter Stadium for tonight's Monday Night Football. Tonight see's Newcastle with the return of Willie Mason host Penrith who haven't scored a point in the last two weeks.
Newcastle: There are no changes for Newcastle, they are 1-17.
Penrith: There is one change for Penrith; Tim Grant comes onto the bench for Matt Robinson.
A thriller in the Toyota Cup, Penrith sealed it with a late field goal to Chris Knight. They get the win, 29-28.
Remember if you're following our updates and have a twitter account, tag all your tweets with #NRLnewpen
1 min: Penrith kick off.. Newcastle have first use of the ball.
5 min: As you would expect with two sides, down on form and points they are doing the basics currently. Four hit ups then a long kick.
7 min: TRY
Well.. I jinxed that. Lachlan Coote retrieved the ball and passes to Tighe who has the ball ripped out of his hands. It's simple quick hands from Newcastle finds James McManus who goes over in the corner. Gidley with his first conversion attempt, pushes it wide.
Newcastle Knights 4-0
10 min: Strong run from McKendry, with three players hanging off him, he earns a penalty. Penrith will have their first attacking set.
11 min: No points but the next best option, Lachlan Coote forcing a dropout.
13 min: Penrith try a set play but like recent weeks, the pass goes astray.
16 min: Chris Houston drops it cold and Michael Jennings is AWAY, will anyone catch him? Yes, Darius Boyd and Akuila Uate wrapped him up. Penrith ignore an overlap but earn themselves another set.
18 min: The Newcastle Shamwow.. defend and Penrith's attack was gone. After the break, Penrith didn't really throw anything substantial at Newcastle and ended it with a limp kick.
20 min: TRY
Some lovely interplay from Newcastle with Tahu throwing a no look pass to McManus who draws the fullback, passes to Buderus who gets it to Mullen who dives over. Gidley with the gimme kick, converts.
Newcastle Knights 10-0
21 min: Uate charged back like a bull, stepping and found himself in space with only Coote to beat but oote does well to wrap him up. Next tackle, Newcastle get a piggyback penalty but it's spilled.
23 min: Tim Grant makes his return for Penrith.
26 min: TRY
Well that was bizzare..but Penrith finally have points after 206 minutes of football. Danny Buderus throws a wonky pass which goes to no one but it's kicked ahead by Penrith and Jennings finishes it off for the try. Luke Walsh with the boos ringing out at Hunter, misses.
Newcastle Knights 10-4
27 min: Penrith go the expansive route in their own half and it didn't work out. Luke Walsh is trapped with the ball and bundled into touch.
28 min: There's a big roar from the crowd, as the hometown boy Willie Mason has made his way onto the field.
30 min: The crowd is right behind Mason when he takes his first hit up for the Knights and he's earnt a penalty, nice start.
32 min: TRY
Put that one down to Timana Tahu.. who shrugged off the defense after some link passes to send Zeb Taia inside for the Knight's third try. Gidley with his third conversion attempt, nails it.
Newcastle Knights 16-4
34 min: Luke Walsh runs at the line an pokes his nose through but he's taken down also looking like he's hurt.
36 min: Penalty here to Penrith.. they are hanging on by the skin of their teeth.
38 min: Injury news for both sides.. Luke Walsh has gone off for Penrith, assume Luke Lewis will go into the halves. For Newcastle, Danny Buderus has succumbed to the achilles problem, Matt Hilder will take dummy half duties.
39 min: Newcastle unleashing the razzle dazzle at the end of the first half but earn a dropout. Gidley though from the restart, drops it cold.
40 min: Penrith with another error in an attacking position. Newcastle will just take us to halftime here.
40 min: Newcastle have dropped it with the safety first football and we're at halftime.