Having secured his future with the Club this week, Newcastle Knights NYC five-eighth Will Smith says he is happy to be back in the swing of things after spending time on the sidelines with injury last month.
Smith played a key role in the NYC Knights’ 14-10 win over the Gold Coast Titans at Hunter Stadium on Saturday evening, before re-signing with the Club to keep him in Newcastle until the end of 2013.
The 19-year-old was out of action for four weeks during April but is once again starting to find his best form marshalling the Knights’ attack and even finding the try line himself against the Titans.
“It’s good to be back playing week-in, week-out instead of sitting on the sidelines,” Smith said.
“It’s hard being on the sidelines when you see things in the game that you want to do, but you just can’t do anything about it.”
The Knights came from 10-0 down to beat the Titans and had to overcome a nerve-wracking final few minutes defending their own line to preserve the win.
Smith said he was pleased with the character shown by the team.
“It was really good, the one thing I probably took out of it was the defence on our own line,” he said.
“Everyone worked for each other and it was great.”
NYC assistant coach Tony Clarke echoed Smith’s words, saying the defensive effort by the young Knights was very promising.
“That was one positive aspect of the game,” Clarke said.
“It’s been our Achilles heal all year, and no disrespect to the teams below us, but sometimes we don’t seem to be at our best, but today defensively we showed plenty of character.
“They really worked together closely and that’s something that as coaches you look for in a team and we’ll only get better from here.”
After Saturday’s win, the Knights currently sit in fifth place but are only three points behind competition leaders Canberra.
Clarke said a big focus for the Knights is to keep themselves in the mix at the top of the table.
“We want to maintain our position,” he said.
“We’re running fifth at the moment and lot of the teams above us are playing each other so we’ll just wait and see.
“There’s a long way to go, but to be where we are is in a nice position.”
Smith said the Knights’ upcoming matches against Brisbane and Canberra would play a key role in determining how their season is shaping up.
“Hopefully (we can) string some wins together in the next two games before the bye, work on fixing our mistakes over the bye weekend and come back better after that,” he said.