Former Newcastle Knight Kurt Gidley wears playercam during UK game

Kurt Gidley in action for Warrington in the UK Super League. Photo / Getty Images.
Kurt Gidley in action for Warrington in the UK Super League. Photo / Getty Images.

Kurt Gidley made history by becoming the first rugby league player to wear a playercam during a match.

The Australian was hooked up to a camera, which was fitted in a vest behind a small hole in his jersey, during the first half of the Wolves' televised Super League clash against Leigh at the Sports Village.

Footage from the camera was shown by Sky Sports during the opening 40 minutes before technical issues ended the experiment.

How did the innovative feature fare in its first outing?

KICK-OFF

Gidley admitted in an interview before kick-off that the playercam "paints a target" on his head. And that was evident from the start as he caught the kick- off and offloaded while he also made the first tackle of the match by a Warrington player.

KICKING

Playercam made the viewer appreciate the size of the pitch when Gidley kicked in-play, with the floodlights also coming into effect as he booted high into the corner, and also highlighted the lack of time he had due to the pressure applied by the Leigh defence.

BREAKS IN PLAY

Moments that are not always picked up by the television images were shown through the use of Gidley's camera. The Australian was seen high-fiving his teammates following a Leigh player's knock-on and was at the heart of an emotional team talk behind the sticks after Warrington conceded a try.

TACKLING

Gidley spoke about how rugby league was the "toughest sport out there" on Wednesday when launching playercam. The camera highlighted the impact of collisions. The 34-year-old was on the receiving end of a huge tackle from Harrison Hansen, forcing Gidley to knock on, which led to a Leigh try from the free-play.

GIDLEY PERFORMANCE

"It is similar to wearing a GPS vest," Gidley said before the start of the game. But the camera looked visible under his jersey, appearing to stick out in front of him, and may have taken Gidley time to get used to it. Despite a couple of impressive kicks, the Australian did not have the best of opening halves, conceding possession following Hansen's massive tackle which led to Leigh's second try.

WHY DID GIDLEY DITCH THE CAMERA

Sky Sports viewers were told the experiment was being abandoned at halftime due to technical issues but Warrington coach Tony Smith says the decision was taken by the player himself.

"Kurt wanted to get on with playing footy," Smith told Press Association Sport. "I don't think things were going great for Kurt at that stage. He needed to get it off and just get on with playing.

"I don't know if it had any effect on what he did or not but the camera went at halftime.
"I hope they got some good footage of it. I think it was done for all the right reasons to try and give people a perspective of rugby league from a different angle."

- news.com.au

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