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Bennett backs Buderus for Blues after hooker rolls back the years

Date

Glenn Jackson

CANTERBURY 6 NEWCASTLE 20

Back where he belongs ... Danny Buderus is being tipped for a return to the  State of Origin arena after another eye-catching display yesterday in the Knights’ victory over early-season pacesetters Canterbury.

Back where he belongs ... Danny Buderus is being tipped for a return to the State of Origin arena after another eye-catching display yesterday in the Knights’ victory over early-season pacesetters Canterbury. Photo: Quentin Jones

Five things we learnt from yesterday's game

WHEN Wayne Bennett, a coaching master but also an outsider, joined the Knights, he made a point of bringing home a player who represents, rather than simply plays for, Newcastle. Yesterday, Danny Buderus provided the performance that explained why Bennett showed so much faith in a 34-year-old.

MATCH STATS

Knight on the charge ... Darius Boyd clashes with Josh Morris of the Bulldogs.

Knight on the charge ... Darius Boyd clashes with Josh Morris of the Bulldogs. Photo: Getty Images

''He brings that yesteryear with him and the pride he has in the team and the town,'' Bennett said after Buderus was named man of the match in the 20-6 victory over the Bulldogs. ''He lives it every day. He is what you'd call a real deal. He really is. I just don't know where we'd be without him. He's been absolutely outstanding to the club … I can't give him a big enough rap. He's a 10-out-of-10 bloke on and off the field.''

The signing raised some eyebrows, but Bennett was convinced the former NSW and Australian representative had something to offer. However, even Bennett admitted he was surprised by what Buderus had done since his return from Leeds.

''He hasn't missed a training session, he hasn't missed a beat,'' he said. ''He's been remarkable. At his age and three years in the UK … but it seems to have freshened him up and I think he's really appreciated being back in the NRL.''

Knights 1st try from Richie Fa'aoso. Click for more photos

Knights charge Bulldogs

The Newcastle Knights beat the Canterbury Bulldogs in NRL Round 4 at ANZ Stadium on March 25th, 2012. The knights won 20 - 6. Pictures by Quentin Jones. Photo: Quentin Jones

So much so that Bennett said Buderus should be the NSW hooker in the State of Origin series this year. ''I hope age is not an issue for Origin because if his form dictates that he should be there, I'd love to see him play there,'' he said.

Yesterday, Buderus went up against NSW incumbent Michael Ennis. This Friday night, he will face the Queensland hooker, Cameron Smith. Smith took Buderus's Australian jumper in 2006, when the Newcastle player withdrew from that year's Tri-Nations tournament. Smith would not relinquish the spot again.

Buderus said his time out of the NRL helped him deal more effectively with the pressure, which will no doubt come with a few more chapters to his rivalry with the Melbourne captain, and the former NSW captain said he had no doubt he could play at that level again.

''Mentally, I think that's the thing,'' he said. ''You have no other option in Origin. The atmosphere, the occasion drags you with it. It jumps up 10 levels because the best players are there. Of course you can drag yourself along to play at that level.

''I have said before I will do anything for my state. But like I said, there are some good hookers there, there is an incumbent and I will have to be playing well to knock him off.''

Buderus returned on a one-year deal to the Knights, but Bennett has told the hooker, a point he reiterated yesterday, that he is welcome to play next year if he wants to.

''It's up to him now,'' Bennett said. ''He's got to get through the year and make sure everything's fine for him and he wants to be there. But I'm not one who wants to get rid of the older players, not when they're playing like he is.''

Buderus said he would make a call on his future midway through the season. For now, he is content to be repaying the faith of his new coach.

''To have Wayne bring me back has put a lot of faith in me … I just want to repay him,'' he said.

''That's the big thing - every game I want to go out there and play well for the club, but also for Wayne for getting me here.''

To hear Buderus explain why he could not return to any other club gave the truest insight into Bennett's words - the reason Buderus means so much to Newcastle is because Newcastle means so much to him.

''The [Leeds] Rhinos meant much to me,'' Buderus said. ''[But] only one club meant more.''

NEWCASTLE 20 (R Fa'aoso A McKinnon J Mullen tries K Gidley 4 goals) bt CANTERBURY 6 (J Romelo try S Turner goal) at ANZ Stadium. Referee: Ben Cummins, Phil Haines. Crowd: 21,701.

 

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CRO 20vs CBR 24 Report Stats
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CRO 16vs NZW 20 Stats
NQL 23vs CBY 16 Stats
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MAN 30vs NEW 10 Stats
PAR 10vs MEL 28 Stats
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CBR 12vs BRI 24 Stats
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MEL 12vs BRI 14 Report Stats
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NZW 30vs CBR 8 Stats
NQL 18vs CRO 24 Report Stats
PAR 16vs STG 12 Report Stats
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WST 12vs PEN 35 Stats
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STG 12vs NQL 18 Report Stats
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MAN 28vs CRO 16 Report Stats
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WST 16vs PAR 28 Stats
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CBY 8vs BRI 16 Stats
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CRO 28vs STG 8 Report Stats
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NEW 30vs GCT 2 Report Stats
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MAN 12vs NQL 30 Stats
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MEL 22vs STG 4 Stats
SOU 52vs NEW 6 Stats
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PEN 24vs CBR 34 Report Stats
CBY 16vs CRO 18 Report Stats
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NQL 46vs PAR 4 Stats
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Round 21
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SYD 38vs CBY 28 Report Stats
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NQL 32vs CBR 24 Stats
MAN 44vs BRI 14 Stats
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SOU 20vs PEN 16 Report Stats
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GCT 24vs PAR 14 Stats
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Round 22
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BRI 16vs CBY 18 Report Stats
MAN 28vs SOU 8 Stats
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NZW 0vs STG 36 Stats
CRO 30vs NQL 18 Stats
PAR 10vs PEN 4 Stats
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MEL 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
NEW 22vs SYD 38 Report Stats
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CBR 18vs WST 20 Stats
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Round 23
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NQL 18vs SOU 31 Stats
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BRI 32vs STG 6 Report Stats
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WST 18vs NEW 24 Stats
PEN 24vs NZW 10 Stats
SYD 28vs PAR 18 Stats
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CBR 24vs MAN 26 Stats
CBY 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
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CRO 2vs MEL 30 Stats
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Round 24
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STG 19vs PEN 12 Report Stats
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SOU 18vs CBY 32 Report Stats
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CRO 40vs WST 18 Report Stats
NZW 16vs NQL 50 Report Stats
SYD 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
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GCT 28vs CBR 12 Stats
MAN 16vs PAR 20 Report Stats
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MEL 6vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU 12vs BRI 47 Report Stats
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MAN 10vs SYD 46 Report Stats
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
PAR ($2.70)vs CRO ($1.49) 15:00Pirtek
NEW ($3.10)vs CBY ($1.39) 17:30HS
MEL ($1.77)vs NQL ($2.10) 19:30AAMI
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
WST ($1.42)vs NZW ($2.95) 14:00CSS
GCT ($3.00)vs STG ($1.40) 16:00Cbus
Mon, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR ($1.55)vs PEN ($2.50) 19:30GIO
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Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI ($1.50)vs MEL ($2.50) 19:45SUN
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD ($1.36)vs SOU ($3.00) 19:45AS
Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
PEN ($1.47)vs NEW ($2.55) 15:00Pepp
STG ($1.57)vs WST ($2.30) 17:30ANZ
NQL ($1.12)vs GCT ($6.00) 19:301300
Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
PAR ($1.87)vs CBR ($1.87) 14:00Pirtek
CRO vs MAN 16:00Rem
CBY ($1.08)vs NZW ($7.00) 18:30ANZ
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Team P W L D Pts
Sydney Roosters 23 17 6 0 38
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North Queensland Cowboys 22 16 6 0 36
South Sydney Rabbitohs 23 13 10 0 30
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 22 13 9 0 30
Melbourne Storm 22 12 10 0 28
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 22 12 10 0 28
St George-Illawarra Dragons 22 11 11 0 26
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