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Mad Monday cripples Blues

Date

Joe Barton

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30:  Kurt Gidley of the Knights leaves the field with an injury during the round eight NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Penrith Panthers at Hunter Stadium on April 30, 2012 in Newcastle, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Kurt Gidley of the Knights leaves the field with an injury during the round eight NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Penrith Panthers at Hunter Stadium on April 30, 2012 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images) Photo: Mark Kolbe

Newcastle skipper and NSW certainty Kurt Gidley's season is over after the former Blues captain reinjured his left shoulder in Newcastle's 34-14 NRL win against Penrith at Hunter Stadium.

In one manic Monday night Blues coach Ricky Stuart lost his bench utility, Gidley, and has two other likely selections in hooker Danny Buderus (Achilles) and centre Michael Jennings (neck) in serious doubt for game one, while second-rower Luke Lewis also appeared hampered with a left shoulder complaint.

Knights coach Wayne Bennett confirmed Gidley had suffered dislocation of his shoulder, initially injured in round two against Cronulla, while attempting to tackle Panther Clint Newton and would likely require a season-ending shoulder reconstruction.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30:  Luke Lewis of the Panthers looks dejected as he sits on the bench during the round eight NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Penrith Panthers at Hunter Stadium on April 30, 2012 in Newcastle, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Luke Lewis of the Panthers looks dejected as he sits on the bench during the round eight NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Penrith Panthers at Hunter Stadium on April 30, 2012 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images) Photo: Mark Kolbe

''I probably think, being candid with you, my preferred position would be he gets an operation and gets it sorted out and he'll play next year,'' Bennett said.

''I'd have to say, I don't want to see him continually go through this. He's stopping and starting the season.''

The Newcastle medical staff were unable to pop Gidley's shoulder back in at the ground, with the No.7 taken to hospital to sort out the painful procedure.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30:  Danny Buderus of the Knights watches on from the bench with ice on his leg during the round eight NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Penrith Panthers at Hunter Stadium on April 30, 2012 in Newcastle, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Danny Buderus of the Knights watches on from the bench with ice on his leg during the round eight NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Penrith Panthers at Hunter Stadium on April 30, 2012 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images) Photo: Mark Kolbe

Buderus, who missed last weekend's City-Country match with the Achilles tendonitis injury, was unable to complete the first half before succumbing to his complaint.

The 34-year-old had been considered all but certain to be part of the NSW team for State of Origin I in Melbourne on May 23, to be picked in a fortnight.

But the veteran, who said he had taken part in just one training session since the round seven fixture against St George Illawarra 16 days ago, admitted he is unsure of when he'll next take to the field.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30:  Michael Jennings of the Panthers looks dejected as he sits on the bench after injuring his shoulder during the round eight NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Penrith Panthers at Hunter Stadium on April 30, 2012 in Newcastle, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Michael Jennings of the Panthers looks dejected as he sits on the bench after injuring his shoulder during the round eight NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Penrith Panthers at Hunter Stadium on April 30, 2012 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images) Photo: Mark Kolbe

Jennings left the field in the 60th minute after pinching a nerve in his neck when he landed awkwardly on his shoulder while attempting to score a try.

The 24-year-old, who was given a dressing down by club management before the game for drinking on Anzac Day, was hopeful the injury wouldn't restrict him and said it was just a stinger.

''It's nothing too bad, well hopefully,'' he said.

''When I did it I thought I had done my shoulder. As time went on it kind of went away [and] I started to get confident.''

Bennett admitted the loss of his captain for the season soured what had been Newcastle's most impressive offensive display of the season.

''But it's football. It goes with the territory,'' he said.

The Knights, spurred on by a pumped up Willie Mason in his first NRL match since 2010, dominated the contest down the left flank, with James McManus, Timana Tahu, Zeb Taia and Jarrod Mullen all scoring from tries set up on that side of the field.

Mason joined the action in the 28th minute to massive applause from the healthy crowd, something the controversial figure isn't used to.

''It was a bit different,'' Mason said.

''I'm from Newcastle, and usually when I do play up here I get booed a lot which is in most cases anyway, at any ground.''

The game's human headline is still larger than life, and says his love for the game is alive again. AAP

Four Nations 2014

Round 1
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
ENG 32 vs SAM 26 Stats
AUS 12 vs NEWZ 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ vs SAM 14:00Toll Stadium
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS vs ENG 16:00AAMI Park, Melbourne
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Round 3
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ vs ENG 17:30Forsyth Barr Stadium
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS vs SAM 16:00WIN
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Four Nations 2014
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 1 1 0 0 18 0
England 1 1 0 0 6 0
Samoa 1 0 1 0 -6 0
Australia 1 0 1 0 -18 0
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