Winning is a satisfying feeling for any club – but when it comes at the cost of losing several key players, morale and depth is immediately tested, and for the Newcastle Knights, this is exactly what happened.
Although they may have won against a poor Penrith Panthers side 34-14, the reality of the situation for the Knights, is that they may miss utility Kurt Gidley for the rest of the season, as well as hooker Danny Buderus for a few weeks.
The Knights were not the only ones to suffer injury concerns however, with Gidley (shoulder), Buderus (Achilles), Panthers centre Michael Jennings (neck), Panthers five-eighth Luke Walsh (knee) and Panthers lock Luke Lewis (shoulder), all suffering injury complaints – with a time-frame not yet known.
With Gidley’s injury initially suffered in Rd 2, Knights coach Wayne Bennett confirmed that the NSW utility had suffered another shoulder dislocation, which is likely to require season-ending surgery.
“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 injury was that bad, that the Knights medical staff could not pop the shoulder back into place at the ground – meaning that Gidley had to be taken to hospital, to amend the painful procedure.
For Panthers centre Michael Jennings, who was given a pasting by Panthers General Manager Phil Gould for drinking on ANZAC Day, says that he hopes the injury he suffered is not too serious.
“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.”
Despite the Knights win, coach Bennett said that the loss of Gidley soured the comfortable victory.
“But it’s football. It goes with the territory,” he said.