Despite a tough season for the Newcastle Knights, more than 17,000 Members and fans were at Hunter Stadium for Sunday's Round 22 encounter against the Sydney Roosters.
It was a show of support that captain Kurt Gidley praised.
“The crowd was awesome today,” Gidley said after the 38-22 loss.
“I can’t be more thankful and appreciative of the crowd that turned up today and the way they got behind us in the second half.
“That builds a bit of momentum, confidence and belief.”
After a horror first half that had the Knights go into the break trailing 26 points to nil, a second half comeback had the home side within ten points late in the match.
“There was some real belief in the second half,” Gidley explains.
“We were still a long way off but we thought we could pull them back.
“In the end there were too many points to be doing that.”
It was the defensive errors in the first half that the Knights were left to rue.
“We have shown we can score points all year, defending them we are not so good and that’s on the back of errors and penalties,” Gidley said.
“The best teams, they can be resilient and they can defend those errors and penalties.
“We need to do that consistently and for longer periods.”
The Knights take confidence from the second half resurgence with a two-man bench after Tyler Randell (eye) and Beau Scott (foot) were ruled out of the match.
“We were courageous with two guys missing from half time, but we had some possession in the second half and that’s why we scored some points,” Gidley said.
“I felt that arm wrestle in the first 10 minutes, I felt we were slightly on top in our energy, the way we were getting balls on the full and playing around the ruck, that was all really positive.”
Next up, the Knights take on the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium next Sunday.