Mad Dog admits he fears NRL loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mad Dog admits he fears NRL loss

Greg Danvers and David Beniuk 10/09/2011 01:33:37 PM Comments (0)

Retiring Newcastle centre Adam MacDougall admits he fears the devastation he and his team-mates will feel if they are bundled out of the NRL finals in week one.

Few are giving the Knights a chance of toppling minor premiers Melbourne at AAMI Park on Sunday but MacDougall, who will have played his last game if his side loses, says Newcastle have built towards this campaign for two years.

"At the end of the day we believe we canget a result down there and at the end of the day that's all that really matters," the former Test star told AAP.

"(If we lose) it's the end for me and obviously it's the end for us and this is something we've been working towards as a group for about two years now.

"We're pretty much the same side we've had for the past two seasons and, while it was fantastic to make the finals, it doesn't hurt any less when you lose."

The 36-year-old said the bitter experience of being jettisoned in week one by Canterbury in 2009 would spur the Knights on.

"We felt that we could have got a lot further in that series and having to sit back and watch the succeeding three weeks of the final series left a bad taste in our mouths and a bad feeling in our stomachs," he said.

"So I fear losing given the fact what we've put in to get to this point and the consequences of what it means for me individually as well as the team."

MacDougall is not one for statistics suggesting the Storm should easily roll the eighth-placed Knights, and nor does he give much credence to the 42-12 hiding the Knights suffered at AAMI Park in April.

Newcastle have won just two of 12 games against top eight sides this year.

"Statistics don't always take into account the full circumstances of the event," MacDougall said.

"There will be a lot of different players and different events which go into making a result in a game of football and obviously the circumstances which determined that result early in the season are going to be vastly different to the circumstances that are going to be presented at the start of the 80 minutes on Sunday."

MacDougall, who debuted for the Sydney Roosters in 1995, has played 194 NRL games, 11 Tests and 11 State of Origin games for NSW.

He won premierships with the Knights in 1997 and 2001.

His partnership with right winger Akuila Uate has defied the years in recent weeks, but the Knights will also welcome back left centre Junior Sa'u from an ankle injury.

Sa'u is expecting plenty of traffic to be directed his way.

"That's their preferred side but I play the game to test myself," he said.

"We've been looking a a couple of videos but there's nothing different there, you've just got to work as a pack."

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