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Good Knight for Smith - Australian Rugby league News
globalrugbyleague - Sat, 01 Sep 2007 11:54:00 GMT
Mixed spirits walked away from television sets right across the country on Friday night following Newcastle’s stunning 26-24 win over the Wests Tigers at Telstra Stadium.

The Knights come-from-behind win care of a Kurt Gidley penalty goal after the siren ensured there were winners and losers amongst two other NRL teams.

South Sydney fans jumped out of their chairs like John Fahey did after Sydney won the 2000 Olympics after realising that Brian Smith’s boys had locked them into their first finals series in 18-years.

“Eighteen years of agony is over,” declared jubiliant Rabbitohs CEO Shane Richardson from the Coogee Legion Club.

“I really can’t believe it. We’re finally in the play-offs.”

However at the foot of the Blue Mountains in Sydney’s west where Richardson worked a few years ago, confidence was dissolved into desperation ahead of tonight’s clash with the New Zealand Warriors.

The Panthers are now still in contention for the worst title in Rugby League.

A loss or a golden-point extra-time draw would ensure they deliver halfback Craig Gower with a wooden spoon to show all his new Rugby teammates in Bayonne.

The outcome was painful for the Tigers for plenty of reasons, the most obvious being that up 24-12 with 7 minutes remaining they lost what they seemingly should have won.

A try to Gidley in the 73rd minute and then a four-pointer to winger Cooper Vuna off the back of a 50 metre chip and chase with two minutes remaining stirred the pot for an exciting finish.

Appreciative Panthers fans thanked the Wests Tigers on one forum by calling them “Assclowns.”

The top eight for season 2007 will be Melbourne, Manly, North Queensland, New Zealand, Canterbury, Parramatta, South Sydney and Brisbane.’

In what shape spots 4, 5, 6.7 and 8 take will not be known until after 5pm on Sunday afternoon.

In an ominous warning before the finals, the Cowboys milked the Bulldogs 38-32 at Dairy Farmers Stadium to hand the visitors a second straight defeat.

That’s not good news for Canterbury fans if history repeats itself.

Both Parramatta and Manly – who lost their final game of the regular season in 2006 – failed to win a match in the play-offs.

Newcastle 26 (C Vuna 2, K Gidley, C Paterson tries; K Gidley 5 goals) d Wests Tigers 24 (B Marshall 2, C Lawrence, J Morrie tries; B Marshall 4 goals) at Telstra Stadium. Referee: Paul Simpkins Crowd: 13,446 - Read More, Here