Gagai applauds big win
Dane Gagai admits three wins in a row is a great feeling.
“It's great to get that win for the young boys but more so for the fans that stuck by us through tough times,” commented Gagai.
“These last couple of weeks have been fairly good for the Newcastle Knights and to see Novocastrians turn up and support us in Sydney was outstanding and to get the win there, was unbelievable.”
With a switch to fullback, Gagai earned the Players’ Player award for his evasive work against Parramatta’s defence.
The stats speak for themselves as the 26-year-old recorded 11 tackle breaks, ran 224 metres with the ball and had three try-assists.
“I will play wherever is best for the team and I was more than happy to play that role with Nathan Ross out,” Gagai stated.
Gagai admits they always had the confidence and belief to win games, it just came down to execution on the day.
“Throughout the year we have been in a whole heap of games and led games at half time against some high-quality teams so it was always there,” he said.
“Probably a bit of game management and that’s something Brock Lamb has started doing really well and having Trent Hodkinson back there has definitely helped.
“Danny Levi has stepped up his game and whose game management is definitely a lot better and with those key positions, you need everyone on point and those boys are starting to play some good footy.”
Next up is the formidable Melbourne Storm, which is sitting comfortably on top of the ladder.
“Melbourne is a massive challenge; we have had three massive wins and this will be a great challenge to not take the foot off the pedal,” stated Gagai.
“Melbourne is the benchmark and everyone knows when you play against them, what to expect.
“We are just going to go out there and try to stay to our game plan and hopefully come away with the win.
“Anything could happen… when we play them it usually makes for a great game of football so hopefully we can do the same thing here at home.
Gagai acknowledged the Storm have some big game players that are always influential
“Cameron Smith is a big game player, he controls the game really well so it all starts from him,” explained Gagai.
“Off the back of that, you’ve got Cooper Cronk who is great at organising and then you’ve got (Cameron) Munster who is electric but there’s 17 blokes in a team.
“They have been playing together for years, they have that combination and Billy (Slater) back there so it’s a pretty solid spine.
“They have big outside backs and they’ve got a massive forward pack and I’m sure (Nathan) Browny will have a game plan for us and we’ll just have to make sure we hit the ground running.
“Things just seem to come natural for them but we’ve just got to focus on the things we can control and I’m confident in the boys.”
The Knights take on the Storm back on home soil, NRL action kicks off at 3pm at McDonald Jones Stadium.