If there is one thing that a Wayne Bennett coached side will not do – it is give up, and that was the attitude we saw from the Newcastle Knights, as they powered their way to victory, overcoming an 18-point deficit to defeat the Warriors, at Mt Smart Stadium.
Whilst it could have been very easy to concede, the Knights dug deep and fought hard to get back into the game, before taking it out 24-19.
“The game could have been lost on that play if we’d have lost that bit of belief we had because of what happened on the tryline … but the guy that got us back was Akuila as much as anyone else,” coach Wayne Bennett said.
“We controlled our game again, got back to what we were doing and then we started to get the tries again.”
The win means that Newcastle are now level with the Warriors in ninth place, keeping their finals hopes alive.
“When they didn’t have the run of the game they looked like any other football team. We just had to get that momentum,” he said.
“Coming into halftime we were in control of the game and it didn’t stop in the second half.”
Warriors coach Brian McClennan explained that the loss was a hard one to take, but said that his side lost all momentum when Ben Matulino, Russell Packer and Feleti Mateo, all went to the interchange bench.
“It’s an area we’ve been working on, but it also happened when we had less ball. In the first 15 minutes we had the majority of the possession.
“Why we flattened out we’ll have to investigate further.”