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How the Bedsy and ‘Mr Johns’ combination was born

Their chemistry on the field was undeniable.

The Andrew Johns and Danny Buderus combination saw great success for the Newcastle Knights and it all started with a car trip to Taree.

The No.9 had joined the Knights from school and was impressing in the lower grades.

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Johns had already established himself in first-grade, while Buderus was still earning his stripes and navigating the waters of being a fresh face at the Club.

"In 95 when I first came down, we had a little bit of a relationship," Buderus told the Our Town Our Team podcast.


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"Joey was injured in 95. I'd made Australian Schoolboys at the end of that year and Joey said 'have you got a fundraiser to go to for Australian Schoolboys? And I said, 'I have, up in Taree' and he said; 'I'll come with you.

"That's pretty cool. I was calling him 'Mr Johns... when do you want me to pick you up Mr Johns?' and he said, 'easy on that mate, it's Joey'.

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"He's only a kid himself but everyone knows what he did in his debut. He'd established himself within two years that he's going to be a superstar but for him to show some interest in a young country kid from Taree, to come back and raise some money ... ever since then we became pretty close mates."

Having made his first-grade debut in 1997, it wasn't until around 1998 that Buderus established himself as a constant in the team.

Having joined the Club as a half, changes to the game saw Buderus move into the hooking role and help revolutionise the position.

"In 98, the hooking role started to change," Buderus explained.

"Warren Ryan brought Steve Walters to the Club, who was fantastic, one of the greatest of all-time and pretty much changed the way the game was played.

"Hookers were coming through like little halfbacks and I was one of them. I got to experience the whole evolution of the hooking role and it was a focal point.

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"Warren Ryan, one of the smartest coaches you'd ever see, he put me in for the duration and said this is where you're going to play.

"Having the messiah, as number 7, A. Johns next to me. I learnt very quickly if he wants the ball you've got to get the ball as quickly as possible."

The game was changing and Buderus's role was clear.

In fact, it was Johns who set his job description out for him.

He wanted quick and clear delivery of the ball and Johns would take care of the rest.

"He was into me about my passing, 'don't you ever let me down with your passing'," Buderus recalled.

"'When I want the ball, you give it to me' and I totally got that.

"That's why I never developed a kicking game because I didn't need to. I understood straight away my role.
"... once I felt like Joey had that faith and trust in me, that's when I felt like I belonged."

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Gaining the trust of Johns didn't take too long.

With the Knights playing an attack-based game, Buderus' passing game was on point, while he was also physical in the middle, more than holding his own defensively.

"I've seen him give out some big sprays to his hookers. Him doing that made my standards a lot better," he said of Johns.

"I understood that was my role."