Rookie beats world No. 1 JJ Florence with broken foot
Morgan Cibilic has been hobbling round the Newcastle Cup site for days, worried he might not be able to surf after fracturing his toe and suffering severe bone bruising in his foot.
He need not have worried.
Not only was Cibilic able to surf, he claimed the biggest scalp of his fledging world tour career when he shunted world No. 1 John John Florence from the competition in a massive upset.
Cibilic, surfing at his home break at Merewether Beach, produced a score of 17.13 with 8.10 and 9.03 rides to knock Florence out of the World Surf League event.
Florence produced a 13.16 (7.83 and 5.33) but it wasn't good enough against the rampaging rookie who said he had "nothing to lose" going into the heat against one of the world's best surfers.
"I didn't even think I would be able to surf a couple of days ago,'' said the Newcastle youngster whose board hit his foot in a practice surf.
"It was hurting a fair bit, badly bruised and sore but it then seemed to just get a bit better the last 24 hours and I started to walk around.
"But today was my first surf in four days after I did a floater and my board exploded into my foot.''
Also advancing on Thursday was Central Coast surfer Wade Carmichael and another Merewether local Ryan Callinan.
The Newcastle Cup has thrown up a number of upsets including both Tyler Wright and Sally Fitzgibbons being punted from the women's competition before the quarter-finals.
The Newcastle event is replacing the traditional comp at Bells Beach with the next leg of the WSL series to be contested at Narrabeen later this month.
Having these events at home is a massive advantage for Australian surfers with Cibilic making the most of the opportunity on Thursday.
Originally published as Rookie beats world No. 1 JJ Florence with broken foot