Press conference: Chris Heighington on Round 9
The loss of a star halfback can often be the demise of an NRL team, especially one in a rebuilding phase.
However, the nib Newcastle Knights went to Brookvale with a point to prove against the Manly Sea Eagles in Round 8, and took their first win there since 2006.
Chris Heighington was ecstatic with the win, a first for his NRL career at Brookvale.
"It feels good, it's always tough to get a win there," Heighington said.
"I thought Manly played pretty well and we were lucky to get away with the win. You have got to be in it at the end there to win, and we did just that so it was a very proud moment.
"We could have been better in our defence, Marty Taupau and the other middles came through us a bit there. It will be even harder this week with the big Burgess brothers playing good footy."
The veteran forward recognised while the team did miss Mitchell Pearce at certain points throughout the game, the mateship of the young spine reflected well on the field.
"Pearce is obviously a massive loss but I think Jack Cogger did a good job in the middle there, Kalyn Ponga filled in really well and helped out and Connor Watson did a good job and scored a good opening try.
"For a young spine they have been performing well."
Heighington believes that taking a win at Brookvale sends an important message to other teams and fans that discredited the Knights in the absence of Pearce, and the team are now looking to do a job on the South Sydney Rabbitohs at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night.
"We now know we can get a win without him. He was such a big signing for the Club, and he steers us around the paddock well. I think everyone took up a role in that department. Now the challenge is to take that win and do the same thing against Souths.
"I can't wait to play here again in front of a home crowd, we have only done it twice and had two really good wins so we're expecting a big crowd.
"Hopefully everyone can turn up and support us."