Knights say will to win key to momentum - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Knights say will to win key to momentum

By Ben Horne 09/08/2010 07:43:19 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle prop Ben Cross said a superior will to win has been the secret behind the Knights unlikely late surge as NRL finals contenders.

It seemed their playoff hopes had been extinguished when they were embarrassed 52-18 by Canberra in round 19, and then confirmed the following week when they lost to lowly North Queensland in Townsville.

However, convincing wins in consecutive weeks against title heavyweights Manly and then Canterbury has drawn the Knights level with Parramatta, but given them far greater momentum than the Hayne plane has been able to garner.

The Knights have won three successive matches just once this season, but Cross said they have proven in recent weeks that they "want it" more than opposition teams.

The former NSW front rower stopped short of saying they can get on a similar run to what Parramatta did last year when they powered into the finals.

"Mathematically, while we're still a chance we're still playing for more than pride," said Cross ahead of the tough trip to Auckland to face the Warriors this Sunday.

"(To keep it going) we pretty much need to give the ultimate effort again. If you read a little bit in reports after the Manly and Bulldogs wins, we just wanted it more and a few of the opposition players noted that we were a bit more desperate, so we just have to go into the Warriors game with the same attitude.

"You can draw what you like from seeing what Parramatta did last year, but I think Parramatta were in a bit of a better situation than what we're in at the moment.

"If we could replicate something like that it would be awesome, but our two wins have come at home so we're not getting ahead of ourselves."

Newcastle face a tough run to the eight, but can peg back two of their main competitors if they beat the Warriors and Brisbane in their next two matches.

Then it's a huge home clash against St George Illawarra, capped by an unpredictable trip to Melbourne for the last regular match.

Cross said the Knights' more fluent style of late has helped, but admitted keeping the run going will take a monumental effort.

"The longest winning streak I think I've had at the Knights since I've been here is three games so it's going to be a big ask to try to win seven in a row," he said.

"But if that's what's needed, that's what's needed.

"I think it's our defence that's changed not so much our attack.

"We just wanted to instil a bit of pride for our fans coming back home and that's what we've done."

Coach Rick Stone said self-belief is the key to solving their recent woes away from home to topple the Warriors.

"I think we'll take some confidence out of the last couple of weeks and the way we're playing and as long as we can reproduce something like that by the time we get there on the field, we give ourselves a chance," Stone said.

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