The NSW Cup Knights’ upset over the top of the table Mounties was a satisfying win for coach Matt Lantry who said the side was motivated by last week’s loss and a desire to achieve a win on the Club's home soil of Hunter Stadium.
“They are a really strong team and sit second on the ladder,” Lantry said after the match.
“It was important, we were at home and last game at the Stadium for NSW Cup and we responded to that and did a really good job.”
Lantry commended the Knights' middle for laying the foundations of the 34-22 victory.
“I thought our middle third was really good and Pat Vaivai and Chad Redman really set a standard there for us,” he said.
“We’ve been poor the last few weeks, particularly when we went to our bench and outside of our starting middle third.
“Our bench really played an important role and were challenged this week to fight for their spot here and they showed they can compete at this level."
Winger Kerrod Holland proved dynamic in the thrilling match after scoring a hat-trick and converting five goals.
“He contributed well on the scoreboard with a few tries and had a really solid game,” Lantry said.
“I’m really happy for him to contribute the way he did as well as Honeti Tuhu as well the last few weeks.
“It’s good to see our wingers scoring tries. It means you’re generally using the footy."
While the game bred confidence, Lantry identified areas the Knights will hone before their Round 14 match up against the equally challenging 2014 premiers, the Penrith Panthers.
“Our second half wasn’t great, we were a little bit ugly and made a few too many errors,” he said.
“But the Mounties helped us out a little bit in that they were the same.
“We can take some confidence in the way we defended our goal line.
“I’m a bit disappointed with some of the soft line breaks, but we challenged our guys with their scramble defence and they turned up for each other and made it hard on ourselves in the second half."
The Knights win was a significant one for Holland.
“It’s massive," Holland told Knights TV after the game.
“I support the Knights and have been here for a lot of years. Being out on the main stage is a surreal feeling.
“I love it and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else."
Holland plays in the local Newcastle competition for the Cessnock Goannas and joined the Knights' summer squad at the start of the season.
“I’ve just worked my way through the ranks and hopefully I can keep a spot here and keep turning up on match day."
The Hunter raised player was humble when speaking about his point scoring ability.
“It was all just luck really. Just performance after performance and worked my way into the side through hard work,” he said.
“Matt has given me a lot of things to work on and I guess luck was on my side today and I crossed over for three.
“We always knew they were going to be tough, but it was a bit of a road trip down here, so we also knew it was going to be tough for them.
“We just wanted to get through our sets, complete our sets and work hard on the core principles that we work on here at the Knights.
“We got through that pretty well I thought."
He was pleased to have family support at the home game match.
“It was the first game that Mum came down and she brought grandma and grandpa as well and my brother so three tries in front of home and especially in front of mum was really pleasing," Holland added.