Their start was not the best and it was extenuated by the loss of both Jake Granville and Jason Taumalolo but the North Queensland Cowboys bounced back and won the game.
It was a tense affair in the end with the Cowboys only just holding on, to continue their good run of form over the last few weeks.
Taumalolo’s injury is the biggest concern, with the hulking back-rower expected to miss 6-8 weeks with a medial ligament strain.
For periods, the game went back and forth, and it was the class of the Cowboys that eventually got them over the line when it mattered.
The loss continues the Knights recent run of losses, in which they have been unable to continue their good start to the season over the first four rounds.
There were plenty of chances for the Knights to win the game and late on, an opportunity presented itself before the ball was lost on the Knights behalf.
With 15 men and players forced to play longer minutes, the Cowboys somehow managed to hold on for a victory.
Usually a reliable player, there were some errors in Kurt Gidley’s game throughout the year and he has never been as disappointed in a personal game of his than today.
“I love playing team sport and I love the club but it’s one that I won’t forget for all the wrong reasons. It’s a hard one because I made multiple errors,” Gidley said post-game.
“Especially being a captain and being a leader I pride myself on leading the way, but the harder I tried the worse it got for me.
“It’s a tough one to sit in the sheds after the game and not being able to look your teammates in the eye but I can move on reasonably quick after a couple of days and I’ll look to the next game to win back my teammates respect.”
With ANZAC Day all about resiliency, courage and determination, Cowboys coach Paul Green felt that his players showed all those traits.
“It’s fitting considering the day it is, given it is Anzac Day, I thought the courage and toughness and resilience we showed was just outstanding. It was a massive effort from some of the boys there,” Green said.
“Ray Thompson came into the team, hasn’t played NRL this year and played 70-odd minutes in the middle. Scott Bolton nearly played the first half without a break so losing those guys just changes everything around and it was just a courageous effort from all of our blokes.”
Player of the Game:
3. Scott Bolton
2. Korbin Sims
1. Ray Thompson
North Queensland Cowboys 26 (Justin O’Neill 2, Scott Bolton, Lachlan Coote, Michael Morgan Tries; Johnathan Thurston 3 Goals) defeated Newcastle Knights 24 (Chris Houston, Akuila Uate, Joey Leilua, Sione Mata’utia Tries; Tyrone Roberts 4 Goals) Crowd: 15,518. Halftime: 16-6.