In the sheds: Round 23
After a deflating match against the Penrith Panthers at Hunter Stadium, the Newcastle Knights have spoken about the appreciation they feel for the strong support they received from fans on Sunday afternoon.
The side contained the Penrith Panthers in the first half with the score level 6-6 at half time, but were eventually defeated 42-6.
“I heard during the game there were about 13 and a half thousand fans,” Korbin Sims told Knights TV after the match.
“Credit goes out to Newcastle, they are sticking by us in a very tough time.
“We just have to keep trying to prove to them that we are a first grade side and that we can match it.”
Sione Mata’utia echoed his teammate’s sentiment thanking fans for standing by the team.
“I just want to say to supporters, it was a hard day today, we will try our best to get a win for you guys,” he said.
Mata’utia played his first game in four weeks after returning from a broken jaw.
In his 71 minutes on the field he gained 125 metres in attack and made 27 tackles playing in the middle at lock.
“The jaw was fine. I wasn’t really conscious about it out on the field,” he said.
“I wanted to get the confidence with my jaw and my runs back as it’s been four weeks.
“That was one of the hardest games in terms of my lungs getting tested out."
Knights winger Brendan Elliot also described a physically taxing game against the Panthers.
“It was a tough game out there and everyone is a bit bruised and battered,” he said.
“We played well in the first half and our forwards were really dominant in the first half."
Elliot scored his fifth try in seven appearances for the Knights.
“That got us down the field. It was a great kick from (Trent Hodkinson) and I was lucky enough to be in the right spot,” he said.
The Newcastle Knights are eager to turn their attention to the Gold Coast Titans this Saturday and see their next match at Hunter Stadium as an opportunity to deliver an improved performance.
“We just have to find a positive and keep looking forward the next weekend,” Mata’utia added.
“That’s the beauty of it. We have next weekend to play some more footy and some more opportunity to get a win.”