Coach Rick Stone has attributed the Newcastle Knights' Round 1 win over the New Zealand to his side's resolve and show of character.
“It was one of those games that was a little more will than skill,” Stone told the media following the match.
"I thought our goal line defence was really impressive.
“When Dave Fa'alogo was sent to the sin bin, we were definitely under the pump at that stage and thought that was going to be a significant turning point.
"But we rallied and some how scrounged out a few points for ourselves and got the win which is important first game at home.
“Sometimes the will is more important than the skill and execution and I thought we showed plenty of that will today.
“We were a little bit untidy in the middle at times and some of our kicks were disappointing in the first half which gave the Warriors easy passage out of their own territory.
“There was plenty of fight and plenty of boys willing to jump the fence and get involved when they needed to.
“We scratched out a few tries of their own, hung on and didn't allow the Warriors a point in the second half which is good.
“Today was one of those days where both teams were probably a bit scratchy.
"Hopefully the team that wanted it the most got the result.”
Stone believes the opening win on home turf is the ideal way to kick start the season.
“Every two points you get are really valuable and it's the most pleasing part of the win,” he added.
“We value it as much as any, and particularly at home, it's important to show that we are super keen to defend our castle and engage with the fans and make sure they are going away happy.
“The whole script didn't go perfectly to plan, but it finished all right at the end."
Stone described the his first win as head coach as satisfying, but acknowledged the Knights have plenty of improvements to make going forward.
“We have a long way to go, but have a team that showed me they are willing to stand up for each other, support each other and really defend for each other.
"Anytime you have that sort of makings in your footy team, you're on a positive vibe.”
Meanwhile Beau Scott, who captained the side to victory, was happy to claim the positive result despite the game not unfolding according to plan.
"It was a tough game and we made it tough on ourselves at times," Scott said.
"It was an ugly win, but we still got the two points and we have plenty of improvement to make, so it's another positive going forward.
A major lift came when Tyler Randell scored while the team was a man down due to Fa'alogo's sin binning.
“To hold any team out with 12 people these days is pretty impressive,” Scott said.
"It's a start, but we have plenty to improve on and work on during the week.”
There were no major injury concerns to report. The Knights travel to Townsville in Round 2 to take on the North Queensland Cowboys.