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Match info page for the Newcastle Knights vs. Parramatta Eels game in the Grand Final of the 2001 NRL season. All Hall of Fame members have made immeasurable contributions to the Newcastle Knights Rugby League Club in their roles as players, coaches and/or administrators. NRL Help

A two-time Player of the Year (1988, 1996) and Players’ Player of the Year (1996, 1997), and member of the Club’s 20-Year Team named in 1997, he captained the Knights in his final two seasons and went within a game of leading them to the 2000 grand final.

The Parramatta Eels were the standout team in the 2001 season, but were blown away in the first half of the grand final by an enthusiastic Newcastle Knights side that was superbly led by Immortal Andrew Johns.

Johns described the 2001 season as ‘‘one of the most enjoyable years I ever played’’. Michael Hagan: Player 1989-93, Coach 2001-2006 We'd had a good season, and just wanted to stick to what we had done, and what worked for us so well. Please download Newcastle Herald Rugby League and Sports Reporter who has covered the Knights for the Herald since 1992, including the premiership-winning years of 1997 and 2001 and all the highs and lows. Knights players celebrate their 2001 grand final win. ‘‘It was a dream come true to represent your state and your country, but to win a comp with the players you play all year with, and to captain the only team you ever wanted to play for to a premiership, it doesn’t get any better than that. ‘‘They came into the game under a shitload of pressure but for us, it was just a good time and a heap of fun. Newcastle's halfback and captain orchestrated the assertive start and while he was only credited with one try assist, he played a role in nearly all of the points. It took Bill Peden just three minutes to open the scoring for the Novocastrians, and after 25 minutes Newcastle held a match-winning 18-0 lead, thanks to a second try to Peden and another four-pointer to Steve Simpson. McMahon was the Knights’ coach during their inaugural season in 1988 was in charge of the Club for 83 games. Tahu will return to play for the Knights next year and Buderus is at short odds to join him. Long-serving former Knights chairman, former NSW Sheffield Shield cricketer, retired solicitor, who along with fellow Hall of Fame selection committee member Leigh Maughan led the push for Newcastle's inclusion in the NSW Rugby League premiership. We lined up next to Parramatta to walk out onto the stage, and they were so tense. or ‘‘I was lucky to have played in two great sides. "It was disappointing for us, and it took a long time to get into another grand final [2009]. Brett Hodgson scored Parramatta's first try in the early stages of the second half, but that joy was short lived as Timana Tahu crossed in the 63rd minute for his side's fifth try of the night. ‘‘It was a dream come true to represent your state and your country, but to win a comp with the players you play all year with, and to captain the only team you ever wanted to play for to a premiership, it doesn’t get any better than that. Centre and master of ceremonies Mark Hughes remembered how ‘‘nervous and stiff’’ the Parramatta players looked at the grand final breakfast in their ‘‘Miami Vice black suits’’.

Kennedy's try just before the break was important for several reasons, not only did it push the margin out to four converted tries, but it denied the Eels the head into the sheds with any momentum. Newcastle's halfback and captain orchestrated the assertive start and while he was only credited with one try assist, he played a role in nearly all of the points. The Knights came third in 2000, only to fall one game short of the Grand Final in a heartbreaking loss to the Roosters. ‘‘They came into the game under a shitload of pressure but for us, it was just a good time and a heap of fun.

‘‘They were both special for different reasons,’’ Peden said yesterday of the two premierships. If the score had come back to 18-6 the Eels would have been given a new lease on life. "We knew they were so wound up and hot favourites, but if we could play our best and get on top of them, and that's what we did in the first half," Perry said.

Arguably one of the greatest players of all time, Johns played for the Knights a record 249 times and still holds the Club record for most career points with 2,176.

But it was too little too late, as the Knights held on for the 30-24 victory. Buderus captained Newcastle, NSW and Australia, won the 2001 NRL premiership with the Knights and in 2004 won the Dally M Medal as rugby league’s best and fairest player. Gidley also served as CEO of the Club from 2011-2017. . A powerful and skilled centre, Gidley scored 68 tries for his hometown Club. Michael Hagan: Player 1989-93, Coach 2001-2006. One of just five Knights to have played in the grand final wins of 1997 and 2001, humble back-rower Bill Peden scored two tries against the Eels and famously played down his role, saying afterwards: ‘‘The sun even shines on a dog’s bum sometimes. Available Formats.



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