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Sione Mata’utia likens the NYC Knights' defence to a ‘Red and Blue' brick wall.

It's a call Mata'utia regularly uses to inspire his teammates when they're under pressure and forced to defend their own line.

This was certainly the case against Parramatta on Sunday, a match where the Knights had to dig deep to hold out a fast-finishing Eels outfit. 

"Parra had their tails up in the last 10 minutes, but we all just stuck together," a relieved Mata'utia told Knights TV in the sheds post match.  

"We had a call called, ‘red and blue wall’ and it we held strong in the end.

"We’ve been working hard on our defence and it worked on the field. 

"It was a big win, because we knew all week that this was going to be an important match.

"So coming down to Parramatta especially, we had to switch on and be ready for a big game.

"We put in down to our defensive effort.

"As coach Mick Crawley said, that’s probably one of our best defensive efforts all year.

"So it’s a credit to the boys and especially those guys in the middle."

This defensive application was particularly on display midway through the first half of Sunday's match when Mata'utia and fullback Bryce Donovan denied a certain Parramatta try with some stellar last-ditch defence.   

The Eels led 10-6 at the time and looked destined to add to their advantage through fullback Corey Makelim, before the Knights' duo arrived to save the day for their side.       

"I thought, ‘I’ve got to get this guy’, otherwise he would have scored and it would have been a big momentum change," Mata'utia recalls. 

"Credit to the help of Bryce, because he got there in the end as well.

"So it was a big defensive effort."

Coach Mick Crawley was rapt with his side's defence against Parramatta, hailing it their best effort of the season. 

"Defence is something that we’ve been trying to build as a team and something we want to hang our hat on as a team," Crawley says.

"I thought personally it was probably the best we’ve defended all year.

"Our shape in defence was really good and so was our effort.

"That’s the beauty of this bunch of boys, they never quit and we’ve won a lot of games on last-ditch stuff.

"So it will put us in good stead as we move forward."

The Knights have the bye this weekend and Crawley says he'll give the entire squad time off to rest and recuperate.  

"I made the forwards play in the local competition the last time we had the bye, but I won't this time around," he explains.  

"The break will do them good, because we are trying to build with every game and I think with young players that’s what you’ve got to do.

"The Parramatta win was just another small step to where we want to be as a team.”

It’s a journey that coach Crawley hopes ends with a premiership trophy come October 5.

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