Steve Simpson pulls no punches.
He saw Jason Taylor and knew he was going to score.
It was 2001 and Newcastle faced off with a red-hot Parramatta side.
The Eels were favourites but on this day the Knights put them to the sword, and it was their backrowers inflicting the damage.
Simpson scored the second try in the grand final and is adamant he was always going to steamroll the Eels’ No.7.
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“I remember Rudds (Sean Rudder) passing me the ball and seeing Jason Taylor in front of me and my eyes lit up, to be honest,” Simpson told the Our Town Our Team podcast.
“I knew when I saw him and him alone, that I was a fair show.
“We wanted to play through them and run hard and that’s what we did in the first half-half.”
At the break, Simpson can’t recall anything about the halftime speech.
He missed it.
He spent the stoppage getting needled and strapped up.
“I tore a ligament in my elbow, so I missed the talk,” he said.
“We knew what we had to do.
“We knew we had to control the ball and kick long… and the game would be ours for the taking.
“They scored a few more tries than we would’ve liked but we were still good enough to get the job done.”
The Knights led 24-0 at the break.
But the final score line was 30-24 with the Knights delivering their second premiership to the hunter.
“The score line probably flattered Parramatta in the end,” Simpson said.
“We knew what we had to do.”
Simpson, who played seven Test for Australia and 13 Origin’s for NSW, believes the 2001 premiership victory was set up following their gut-wrenching loss to the Roosters the year prior.
“It left a real dirty taste in our mouth, getting beat in that game and set us up for the following year to be honest.”
While you could forgive someone of Simpson’s pedigree for getting comfortable, it wasn’t part of his DNA.
He was a player who had to earn his stripes each week.
It was an attitude he adopted since coming into first grade in 1999.
“I didn’t want to get too comfortable in my jersey ever and never take it for granted,” he said.
“It’s something that I tried to pride myself on, that every week you want to be in that top half a dozen players in the side. Especially when we weren’t going so well.
“Although you did feel comfortable you don’t want to feel over comfortable.”