In a match that was battled out in wet and slippery conditions at Hunter Stadium on Saturday, the Newcastle Knights were defeated 28-14 by the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
Knight Brendan Elliot said the inclement weather was taken into account from the outset with the home team eager to perform well on home turf.
“It was very wet out there and the game plan was to stay in the arm wrestle, hold the ball and complete our sets,” he said.
“The first half we struggled a little bit with a couple of their late tries. In the second half we did well to catch up and stay in the game and we stuck it to them.
“But a couple of little errors just completely turned the game around and it didn’t go our way."
There was plenty of talk in the lead-up to the match about the Bulldogs’ sizable pack, but Elliot praised the Knights’ forwards for laying a solid platform throughout the game.
“They have a big pack obviously with (Dave) Klemmer and (James) Graham, but I think the boys really stuck it to them and that’s mainly the reason we caught up like we did,” he said.
“We just got a bit sloppy towards the end of the first half and I think in the second half we really stuck it to them.”
He credits the work of his teammates inside him for setting him up to cross the line twice during the hard fought match.
“It’s always awesome to get across the line but it’s all the boys on the inside doing the work,” he said.
“I’m lucky enough the catch the ball and put it down pretty much.
“It’s awesome to score a try out here at Hunter Stadium, the fans were great out here today.”
Meanwhile teammate Pauli Pauli acknowledge Elliot for his efforts on Saturday.
“Brendan Elliot had a great game and lifted the boys up after those two tries,” he said.
“That’s something positive for the team and gives something for us to move up on."
Although the side slipped away on the scoreboard in the second half, Pauli was proud of the way the Knights remained in the contest with the Bulldogs for the majority of the match.
“We competed with the boys and our boys stuck in there the whole 80 minutes,” he said.
“I think we let the Dogs get a roll on in the second half.
“We did well as a team to try to keep them out, but they get the better of us.
“The boys tried their hardest especially against a team like the Bulldogs which is in the top eight.
“For us boys to keep them to a score like that, it’s a real positive for the boys moving into next week’s game.”
Pauli also communicated his thanks so the thousands of Members and fans who turned out to Hunter Stadium in less than ideal conditions to support the team.
“It is always good to see the fans and it’s the reason we come out and play every week,” he said.
“Without them we wouldn’t be here today and wouldn’t be playing.
“I want to thank the fans for coming out today and helping the boys.”