With the Newcastle Knights sitting at the top of the table after four straight season opening wins, captain Gidley Kurt says there is genuine belief within the team.
“I think after three games and people were still questioning us whether we were a fair dinkum team,” Gildey said.
“We are, and believe we are. We worked hard through the off-season.
“We’ve been winning these games on defence and working hard and covering each others bums on our goal line and that’s something to be proud of and something we need to keep on going with each week.
“Each win now, hopefully after today, we’ll start getting a bit of respect, because we are fair dinkum.”
The seasoned veteran, who’s played 232 games for Newcastle, gains satisfaction from the hard earned wins that have typified the Knights’ start to the season.
“It’s tough, I feel sore and knocked around today, but that’s the way you want to feel after a tough win,” he said.
“I was so proud of all the guys today, it was a big win."
Despite the Knights achieving their most successful season’s start since 2002, Gildey says the team’s approach won't change.
“I wouldn’t have a clue what the table is at the moment,” he said when asked about sitting on top of the premiership ladder.
“I don’t look going into this game and I won't look after this game.
“It’s not relevant for me or the rest of the guys.
“We look at our video and try to improve our individual performance.”
Motivation has instead come from the desire to do their Members and supporters, and themselves proud, especially on home turf.
“It’s wonderful to be four from four and play for our home fans, and wearing this hi-vis gear, I think they’d be plenty of miners putting on their hi vis-gear, pretty proud of us and going to work,” he said.
“During my career I’ve played some really good times at our home ground at Hunter Stadium, Marathon Stadium or whatever it’s been over the years.
“I know the support we get from our home fans, and not just in Newcastle but the Hunter Valley and certainly the mining industry, I know they needed some hope from Round 1, and hopefully today we’ve given them some belief.
“Hopefully they will drag along a few more people along to next week’s game and we keep doing our fans proud.”
The Knights are home again in Round 5, hosting the St George Illawarra Dragons on Easter Saturday at Hunter Stadium.