Dane Gagai says if the Newcastle Knights can bring the same effort, intensity and commitment to this week’s game, the team should go a long way to getting the win against the Penrith Panthers on Saturday.
“We didn’t get the result we wanted last week, but it was a gutsy effort and one of the tougher games I have played in this year,” he said.
“Hopefully we can bring the same effort next week and come away with the two points."
On what was a significant occasion for the Club, Old Boys Day, Gagai feels the result didn’t necessarily reflect the Knights’ desire and courageous determination against grand final hopefuls, the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
“I don’t think we were too disappointed because we played some terrific footy, but a few little errors costs us in the end,” he said.
“That’s the way footy goes sometimes.
“We didn’t get the win against the Bulldogs last week but we still played some good footy and obviously our hopes are still high.
"We have to make sure we commit to what Bedsy (interim coach Danny Buderus) wants us to buy into and everyone has to turn up for each other.”
Gagai admits the players will need to keep a lid on their emotions as they strive to leave captain Kurt Gidley and the team's other departing players with a final win.
“This is Gids’ last game for the Knights, so that will obviously be in the back of our minds, but we can’t really think about that,” he said.
“The way we do him proud is by committing to what Bedsy is trying to drive and just play our footy and not focus on that too much because sometimes you can tend to go away from what works for us.
“We obviously want to get the win for Gidsy and Newto (Clint Newton) and all the boys who are leaving, but at the same time we have to want to do it for ourselves.
“We are going to have to fight this weekend because we are looking at another tough game.”
While Gagai acknowledged the Knights’ season hadn’t met expectations, he could still reflect on positives and a number of personal highlights.
“It’s been a bit of an up and down season. We started off well and then started going down hill a little bit,” he said.
“Getting to make my debut in the Origin was a massive high and is the biggest thing I’ve done in my career so far.
“I’ve been happy with the season that I’ve had, but at the same time, there’s areas that I can improve on and get a lot better.
“We will just try and get the win this weekend and some time off and look forward to next season.
“I think we have slowly been progressing as a team from that win in Melbourne.”