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The Newcastle Knights started today not knowing too much about the Auckland Nines concept, but by the completion of day one the side believes they now understand how to succeed in the inaugural tournament.


And the answer is simple - hold the ball and starve your opposition of possession.


That's certainly the opinion of forward Jeremy Smith, who says completions and patience was the key to the Club's impressive 25-14 victory over the Gold Coast on Saturday afternoon.


Smith, who scored a strong try against the Titans, has called for his side to continue their focus on ball control when they take on the Tigers in a must-win match tomorrow morning at 10.25am AEST.


Newcastle finished the opening day on top of the Blue Pool on for-and-against, but must still beat the Tigers to advance through to the quarter-final stage.

"I think we completed pretty well against the Gold Coast, so holding the ball in this heat certainly pays off," Smith says.


"There wasn’t too much said after the Sharks loss, because we knew we just had to keep possession.


"So we went out there, completed and now I’m looking forward to tomorrow against the Tigers.


"Everyone is sort of finding a bit of structure and working out the game, so it has all fallen into place.


"We’ve just got to turn up on Sunday and work hard again, because the longer you keep the ball the harder it is for the defence to hold on."


The win over the Titans in front of a packed crowd at Eden Park was also a great opportunity for Smith to perform in front of his family.


As a proud New Zealander born-and-raised in Christchurch, the forward loved nothing more than crossing for a try on home turf.


"I’ve got a bit of family around, I think they are in the grandstand somewhere," he says.


"It was good to get a win and to score a try I’m happy.


"So everyone is a winner."


Smith and the Knights are hoping that's the case against the Tigers on Sunday morning.