Gagai ready to notch 100 in red and blue
It’s set to be a proud occasion for Newcastle Knight Dane Gagai who is ready to play his 100th game in the red and blue on Sunday against the Manly Sea Eagles.
“It’s definitely a great achievement to play 100 games for one Club,” he said.
Mackay born Gagai began his career at the Brisbane Broncos before signing with the Knights in 2012.
“I remember back in 2012 making my debut for Newcastle against the Raiders and getting a try on debut and having my family down,” he said.
“I’m definitely going to get them there and will hopefully make it a memorable one."
From the very moment he pulled on the red and blue jersey, Gagai has been blown away by how the Hunter community and Knights fans far and wide have embraced him.
“When I moved down here it felt like I had been down here for a while and everyone was so welcoming,” he said.
“They accepted me as one of their own and it’s something I’ll always remember.”
The Queensland Origin star is hoping for a positive result this weekend when the Knights meet Manly at Brookvale Oval.
“I’m just going to go out there and perform the best I can and give the Novocastrians what they deserve and that’s a win,” he said.
“I always go into games thinking about doing my job and trying to put us in a position to win.
“If I get a try, that’s always a bonus. I will be looking for that win.”
This weekend Gagai will move back into the centres with Jake Mamo named at fullback.
“I’m looking forward to being back in the centres….being a bit wider and hopefully getting some early ball,” he said.
He also hopes to strike up good chemistry with Mamo out the back.
“Jake had a good game against Melbourne. He didn’t look out of place and looked very comfortable,” he said.
“He has good speed and has come a long way since playing on the wing. He’s developed his passing game and has quite nice hands.
“I’ll be making sure I’ll be pushing up with him and don’t miss the jump because he has some wheels and can run.”
He’s also confident in the Knights’ ability to compete with their opposition and reflected on recent solid performances against some of the competition's heavyweights.
“We have played teams at the opposite end of the ladder and we have proven we can stick it to them," he said.
“I think we have been a bit unfortunate with injuries, losing Mullo (Jarrod Mullen) and Robbie Rochow who have been key players for us.
“We've not been able to have that consistency there, but the boys have shown what they can do when we do get a bit of consistency against the Storm and against Raiders.”
"I’m looking forward to doing everything I can to get us the win."