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Coach and captain praised the Newcastle Knights defensive effort following Saturday night’s win over the Gold Coast Titans and forward Korbin Sims echoed those sentiments after the team recovery session on Monday.

“Our defence was a lot better… we were up by a lot of points and we haven’t been in that situation before this year,” Sims said.

“We did a lot of defence in the week trying to better prepare ourselves for the defensive battle on the weekend.

“It was one of those gritty wins that Newcastle likes to have, and I’m glad that I was a part of the Heritage Round and to take control throughout the whole game is something that we don’t do too often.

“Now the plan is to keep winning, starting with this weekend against the Rabbitohs.”

Newcastle take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Round 20 at ANZ Stadium, who are sitting in fourth position on the ladder with two wins coming from their last three matches.

“They’re always a tough opponent no matter what time of year you play them, so if we can bring some of that form we showed against the Titans and clean up a few areas we’ll be right,” Sims assessed.

Sims, who was awarded Players’ Player for Round 19, is relishing a role with greater responsibility.

“I have to be one of the leaders in the pack, the other week when we had a couple of our senior players out against Brisbane Danny Buderus challenged me to step up that game and I think I did,” he said.

“My form’s been not too bad lately, but I’ve still got a lot of areas to work on.”

Sims was unlucky not to get himself on the try scoring list on Saturday night, the video ref disallowing two and awarding another to Jake Mamo.

“A couple of times I was over the line there, but I think I got a try-assist out of one of them so that’s not too bad,” he added with a smile.

Meanwhile, Sims was pleased to report his teammate Dane Gagai is in good spirits after a health scare on Saturday night.

“It sort of rattled a few of the boys, I know it rattled me just from the sheer thought that it’s his heart, not a muscle thing,” the forward explained.

 “It’s his heart that’s sort of failed him there at one stage and that’s a little scary, but he’s doing alright now.”