Gagai’s fullback switch works a charm
nib Newcastle Knight Dane Gagai said he may have pulled up a bit sore after a switch to the number one jersey this weekend, but admits victory against the Canberra Raiders was the perfect remedy.
“It makes it a lot easier if you get those two points,” Gagai smiled.
“It was a great effort from the team and it’s just about backing that up now.”
Being Indigenous Round and designing the jersey with team mate Jaelen Feeney, Gagai admits it was a big moment for them both.
“I saw a lot of Indigenous jerseys being worn by Indigenous people and non-Indigenous which was the effect we wanted,” said Gagai.
“It was a big round for the whole of the NRL and for Indigenous people.”
“Jaelen (Feeney) is a proud Indigenous fella and so is his family, it was good they could get to the game."
Also, it was a special occasion to have the ladies in his life watch on for Mother’s Day.
“I had mum, nan and my partner there so it was good to get the win on Mother’s Day,” explained Gagai.
“It made the day a lot better getting that win.”
The 26-year-old admits every one of his teammates were in a good mindset to produce the winning result.
“We knew that they (Raiders) were going to come out in the second half with strong intent to get back into the game,” said Gagai.
“We needed to make sure we stuck to the process and we did that.
“We kept finding touch which helped us take (Jordan) Rapana and (Joey) Leilua out of the game, the boys really stuck to the game plan and were able to come up with the points in the end.
Gagai, who made a switch from the centres into fullback, said he’s happy to play anywhere that will help the progression of the team.
“It was good being able to be around the ball a lot more but a few more kilometres being run so got to get used to that,” Gagai smiled.
“It is up to (Nathan) Browny what he wants to do and if that’s where he wants me, I’ll play there and do my best for the team.”
With the weekend’s win boosting confidence in the Knights camp, the utility back hopes that can translate into a win against the Penrith Panthers this Sunday.
“Last time we played them was disappointing but that was early in the season so we have moved on from that,” explained Gagai.
“I know we’re completely different to what we dished up against them last time.
“I am confident if we have a good week this week and everyone gets their recovery right and feeling fit and ready to go, we’re a good chance to get two points.”
Get to the game this weekend, before our six-week absence from McDonald Jones Stadium.