In the lead up to the Newcastle Knights’ season opening match, Tyler Randell vowed he was determined to make a statement.
Despite the result, that’s exactly what he did on Sunday playing 80 minutes at hooker and racking up a gutsy 62 tackles in defence against the Gold Coast Titans.
Although the Knights failed to post a Round 1 win against the Titans, the joint-captain believes there’s plenty for the young team to build on in Round 2.
“I thought we finished the first half pretty well,” he said.
“In the second half we started a bit slow and made a few errors and a few penalties.
“It was the start of the second half when they got a few quick tries.”
The performance of the Knights’ five debutants was a major positive of the game and is something Randell believes bodes well for the coming rounds.
“They held their own and you didn’t even notice it was their first game. They prepared really well and had a good off-season. I thought they played really well,” he said.
Both teams battled torrential rain at Cbus Super Stadium, which exaserbated the Knights’ high error rate.
“In the weather like that you change the way you play and they seemed to play a bit better than what we did,” he said.
“But that’s no excuse, we should be ready to play no matter what the weather is."
The Knights now face the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Saturday March 12, a game he says will rely on the Knights' ability to minimise errors and stick to their game plan.
“We will worry about ourselves, I don’t think we’ll look to much at the Rabbitohs,” he said.
“It’s early on in the year so you have to be completing your sets and what we had last night, you can’t win with that amount of possession.”