The Newcastle Knights lost 30-28 to the Cronulla Sharks at Hunter Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Despite leading by ten points at one stage, the men in red and blue were unable to hold on when the Sharks made a late surge and scored three tries in quick succession.
With Tyrone Roberts ruled out, Jake Mamo got his first chance of 2015, with the precocious speedster starting at fullback. 19-year-old hooker Danny Levi also made his debut from the bench.
The Knights picked up first points when Beau Scott earned his side a penalty just short of the try line.
Gidley immediately asked for the tee and the Knights grabbed a 2-0 lead with five minutes played.
The Knights continued to impress with their speed from the ruck, and three minutes later they picked up another two points with another penalty deep in Sharks territory.
Although the Knights were dominating most of the play the Sharks struck back in the 16th minute when a backline move was finished off in the right corner by Valentine Holmes. Michael Gordon's attempted conversion edged wide to keep the scores even.
Gordon got his two points seven minutes later though when the Knights were penalised for a high tackle on Matt Prior 15 metres out.
The Knights finally grabbed their first try ten minutes later when Dane Gagai ran 30 metres down the right line and placed a grubber for Mamo to score. It was just reward for the young fullback after biding his time in the NSW Cup side, and Gidley added the extras to push the score to 10-6.
The Knights struck again two sets later when the returning Robbie Rochow was played through the line. He in turn gave the ball to Scott, who dived over for an easy four-pointer. Gidley again added the extras.
In the dying minutes of the first half the Sharks picked up two repeat sets on the Knights' line, and in the end it paid off as they scored via Jack Bird seconds before the siren. Gordon converted this time, making the half-time score 16-12.
The Knights started the second half with plenty of enthusiasm, Levi almost scoring a try from dummy-half but managing to grab his side a penalty.
In the next set Mamo did what looked like the impossible when he raked a grubber back into play in mid-air for Carlos Tuimavave to score his first try in red and blue. It was an extraordinary play, and Gidley added the extras with the conversion.
The Sharks didn't give up though, and in the 51st minute they ran 60 metres to score via back rower Luke Lewis. Gordon converted but the Sharks weren't done yet, with Ben Barba crossing over four minutes later. Gordon's kick was again accurate, pushing the score to 24-22 and putting the away side in the lead for the first time.
Things continued to unravel for the Knights soon after as Bird collected his own grubber to score his second try of the afternoon and Gordon again extended the margin from the tee.
The Knights finally got some decent possession and with only two minutes left on the clock they managed to score when Kade Snowden took three defenders over the line. Gidley added the extras to leave the score poised at 30-28.
The men in red and blue desperately pushed in the final 90 seconds they had, but the Sharks held firm to take the two points.
Newcastle Knights 28 (T: Mamo, Scott, Tuimavave, Snowden, G: Gidley 4/4, P: Gidley 2/2)
Cronulla Sharks 30 (T: Holmes, Bird, Lewis, Barba, Bird, G: Gordon 4/5, P: Gordon 1/1)