Newcastle coach Adam O’Brien believes it would be hugely unfair if star forward Jacob Saifiti misses next weekend’s NRL elimination final due to a crusher tackle charge.
On Sunday afternoon, the Newcastle Knights went down to the Melbourne Storm 26-16. While failing to win the match, they went down fighting for the win and never gave up.
That attitude is needed for the whole game. They showed it when they bounced back with Bradman Best scoring right after Suliasi Vunivalu. Newcastle were good but Melbourne were better.
We have got three consecutive home games ahead. The first one against Wests then Manly and finishing off with North Queensland. We have registered a win against Wests and Manly but lost to North Queensland. In that loss despite being down by 26 points at the break, we never quit.
Every game from this point is crucial – more so now than ever. We’re coming in seventh and still have all the chances to make the top four. Of the eight teams we have left, seven of them are currently below us but that doesn’t mean they’re easy beats. North Queensland and Canterbury proved that against us.
The Newcastle Knights have a seemingly decent run home but if they walk in the game too cocky thinking they already won, they’ll lose. Right now we’re on 13 points and if we win all eight of our remaining games, that will bring us to 29. 14 wins, five losses and a draw.
The goal is simple, make the top eight. It’s possible and doable but the attitude of resiliency against Melbourne needs to be there for all games. The key is to be in control of the game.
The footy field is like a chess board, put all your pieces in position then strike. How to you win a chess game? Knowledge, resiliency, strategy and control – it’s just like winning a football game.
Mitchell Pearce at the start of the season vowed to break the Knights’ finals drought. Now is the time to turn everything around. A depleted Knights side with a lot of injured players may not have beat Melbourne but they held them to the wire.
Our first of eight tests will be on Saturday against the Tigers. They’ll be looking to get one step closer to the finals.
I said it when the season began and I’ll say it again. This isn’t a rebuilding stage anymore. The club and team is rebuilt.
So to all the Knights fans who think we are still rebuilding, just like anyone saying Die Hard is a Christmas movie, you’re wrong. I’ll say it as simple as necessary: no more rebuilding, no more excuses and no more bullshit!