NRL 2020: Newcastle Knights, Aidan Guerra, pursuing food and wine passions after football

Adella Miesner

Aidan Guerra leaves the NRL with a 100% strike rate in goal kicking. “That was my first and only goal,” the 32-year-old said, revealing that even the Rabbitohs players were urging him to have the shot despite having pummelled the Knights 46-20 in Sunday’s elimination final. The goal sailed through […]

Aidan Guerra leaves the NRL with a 100% strike rate in goal kicking.

“That was my first and only goal,” the 32-year-old said, revealing that even the Rabbitohs players were urging him to have the shot despite having pummelled the Knights 46-20 in Sunday’s elimination final.

The goal sailed through beautifully from the right sideline at ANZ Stadium. Players from both clubs formed a guard of honour to cheer him from the field. 

It’s now something he can add to his resume of 211 games, 10 Origins for Queensland, one Test for Australia and three for Italy.

“I do kick after every session for a bit of fun. But nothing serious,” Guerra said.

“After Hymel (Hunt) went over for that try players from both teams encouraged me to have a kick. I felt like a bit of a dickhead as we were behind by 30 points.”

But there’ll be little time for tomfoolery in Guerra’s post-football world.

Guerra converts from the sideline to end his career

Wife Belinda, in partnership with Zoe Grant, owns the wine company Boe which specialises in producing and distributing Australian-grown rose.

“So that will keep us busy.”

Guerra himself is quite an accomplished cook – perhaps the Matthew Hayden of the rugby league world in the not-too-distant future.

“I’m excited to see how that all happens now that I’m out of the bubble – I can explore a few options,” he said.

“There’s a couple of business things I’m interested in with food so hopefully I make the right call, and have a bit of success.”

Daniel Saifiti reflects on 2020

Guerra completes his last football-player interview standing in shorts and socks, with his biceps-pectoral muscles heavily strapped to give stability to his shoulders.

He won’t miss having to have all that put on each week and then for it to be ripped off. He also won’t miss the pain of waking up after heavy training or games.

“I got a little taste of what it feels like to not be sore in that COVID break. It felt pretty good.

“I might have a headache for the next couple of days but after that I’m excited to be able to wake up and know there’s not going to be any physical trauma going on.

“I won’t feel the urge when the boys go back for the first day of pre-season. I won’t miss that but it will come (missing footy). I might be sitting there watching round one and feel anxious in wanting to be there.

“We’ll wait and see what happens. I am very comfortable with the decision.”

O’Brien reflects on his first season in charge

He said he had “a genuine love” for every man in the Knights dressing room, and the steel city of Newcastle he now calls home.

So much so, this proud Queenslander wants to stay in the Hunter Valley with the two most important ladies in his life, Belinda and daughter Olive.

“We’re locked into Newcastle at present. We’ve been here for three years – it’s our home, great neighbourhood, great friends … Can’t wait for summer.”

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