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How 'George Clooney' helped Knights in 97 grand final

The final score of the 1997 grand final may have been completely different result if it wasn’t for a silly comment from Matthew Johns.

It was half time and the nib Newcastle Knights were down 16-8 to Manly.

Paul 'Chief' Harragon was emotional when addressing the group but that wasn’t what the team needed.

Johns sensed this and stepped in to lighten the mood.

The eventual Clive Churchill winner, Robbie O’Davis recalls this moment, telling of how Chief’s halftime speech was counter to what the team craved at the break.

“Big Chief embraced us, embraced us all and what we wanted to hear as rough tough rugby league footballers, wasn’t what Chief was saying," O'Davis explained.

“Chief was talking with tears in his eyes about the beauty of the game and about how we had to take this back to Newcastle and how it means so much.

“We didn’t want to hear this.”

In a bid to calm the teammates down, Johns came out with one of the most random comments the dressing room had ever heard.

With that, the tension was gone.

If you watch the vision, you’ll see players laughing as they walked out of the tunnel to start the second half.

“Matty has stopped Chief from his speech and has taken a long pause and said; ‘boys, George Clooney.’ And everyone just looked at Matty and went ‘what?’ and he goes; ‘Let’s just go out there and be gorgeous like George Clooney,” O’Davis recalled.

“The whole circle of trust just turned into a circle of laughter and it took all the tension away from us all. We virtually walked out of the dressing rooms laughing at Matty’s stupid comment.

“What a character Matty Johns is in just knowing he had to cool us down and settle us all down and that’s the best part that I remember from the whole grand final.”