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NYC celebration

We're a brotherhood.

With those three words, Knights backrower Harry Pondekas offered an insight into the tight bond that drives the Club's table-topping NYC team. 

In the wake of the side's hard fought 34-all draw against Brisbane last Friday, Pondekas hailed his teammates for coming back from a 26-6 deficit midway through the first half.

The former Bronco, who played a starring role against his former Club, says the closeness of the Under 20s Knights has been the secret to their unbeaten start to the season. 

It's a significant statement from Pondekas, a bloke who has only been in Newcastle for six weeks.

"It’s a brotherhood here, it’s not everyone plays for themselves," Pondekas tells Knights TV.

"Everyone is tight and we are always together after training, before training.

"It’s not just you come to training and then leave each other, we are a group and we are brothers.

"It’s a great team to be playing in at the moment.

"I’m loving it here.

"The coaching staff is great and there is good facilities and everything like that."

Pondekas thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to come up against his old club Brisbane, admitting there was no love lost between some of his former teammates.

"It was great being out there," he enthuses.

"There was a bit of friendly fire and sometimes not so friendly fire with a bit of talk out there.

"But it’s all in the game and afterwards we were all friends.

"It would have been good to get the win, but a draw is second best.

"Our defence in that first half was exceptional.

"They scored off our silly mistakes, but other than that we really had them in the grind."

Coach Mick Crawley was pleased with his side's performance, especially their ability to fight when they seemed down and out in the first half.  

"We were very happy in the end to get the draw," Crawley says.

"I thought our defence was really strong throughout the game, but we didn’t get quality ends to our sets in attack.

"Then we’d back it up with a charge down or a penalty that didn’t go too well for us.

"But as I said to the players as long as they keep turning up with the attitude where they never say die and just keep working hard, I’ll always be happy with their effort.

"The boys are really turning up and trying hard for each other and it’s something we’ve spoken a lot about.

"And I think it’s showing."

The Knights will look to continue their winning form when they take on the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Saturday afternoon (5.15pm). 

Crawley believes the match is another chance to prove they can perform away from home after impressive road trip wins in Townsville, Melbourne and Canberra already this season.

"It all starts again," he says.

"We’ve been good on the road so far and it’s a game leading into a bye so we’re hoping we can finish off this part of the season well."