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Top five biggest rivalries in Knights history

Everybody loves a rivalry.

They're as much a part of rugby league as anything, with the nib Newcastle Knights teams and players racking up plenty of them over the years.

Here's the five best from over the years.

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Chief v Spud

One of rugby leagues most public and greatest ever personal rivalries.

While they are great mates now, the duo’s hatred of one another was both real, personal and well publicised throughout the 1990s.        

Many players have told stories of their various encounters, however none is more famous than their clash at Marathon Stadium in 1995, where Harragon pulled off one of the greatest rugby league tackles of all time.

Manly v Newcastle

The team every Newcastle fan loves to hate most of all.

Born out of some intense clashes throughout the 90s, Manly quickly became the arch nemesis for most Knights fans.

Their clashes are fierce and often brutal, with a plethora of some of rugby league’s best matches coming between the two sides north of the Harbour Bridge.

While the 1997 grand final is an obvious stand out, other great games include the 2006 qualifying final (a 25-18 win for the Knights) and more recently, round one of the 2018 season (a 17-16 victory in golden point).

Adam MacDougall v Wendell Sailor

The Mad Dog v The Big Dell.

Both equally as outspoken, the two cult-heroes would often come to push and shove and endless sledging when they met on the field.

The pair regularly came together in the late 90s at both club and origin level, playing opposite each other on the flanks.

The Australian teammates’ rivalry was spectacularly revived in the late 2000s, with both Sailor and MacDougall seeking each other out when they scored tries.

MacDougall’s match winner proved the difference in their 2009 clash, giving ‘The Mad Dog’ the last laugh.

Knights v Paul Gallen

After inflicting a 62-0 thrashing on the Knights in 2016, the Sharks captain rubbed salt into the wounds with his words post-match.

Gallen claimed “There wouldn’t be too many blokes that played for Newcastle today that would make any other first grade side,” and after initially claiming he thought Barnett was a winger, Gallen said with a laugh: “There you go. I don’t even know his name, that’s how much I care.’’

The Sharks skipper was one of the Knights harshest critics and claimed Mitchell Pearce would “live to regret” his decision to sign with the Club.

It took a few years, but the young Knights reveled in beating Gallen in his final visit to Newcastle in 2019.

Knights v Broncos

It’s easy to draw parallels between the Knights and Broncos.

Both are based in one-team towns and were admitted into the top-flight in 1988.

Both won 1997 titles and were the two dominant teams of the early NRL era, winning a combined 5 titles between 1997-2001.

Brisbane started as a powerhouse, while it took Newcastle time to grow into a competitive side.