Experienced Knights coach Wayne Bennett has heaped praise on his victorious Newcastle troops following their 36-28 win over the North Queensland Cowboys on Monday night.
With their seven game losing streak now dead and buried, the Knights mentor had nothing but admiration for his team who have struggled since their Round 6 win over the Raiders. The coach even went as far as to suggest that a late-season revival could be on the cards.
"Of course it's nice to get a win. I just wish we had the bye this week so we could go back to back," Bennett laughed.
"We can [salvage the season]. We haven't been bad. We have executed poorly, it's been killing us... but our effort has been there and we executed better tonight... and we moved the football a little bit as well and played a bit of footy instead of just hit-ups so they were the benefits tonight."
While the Cowboys made the score respectable in the final ten minutes, Bennett was a happy man despite the fact that Cowboys duo Robert Lui and Curtis Rona scored in the dying stages of the game.
"If we played consistently all season it might be something that you would be a bit disappointed with but I'm just happy to get the win.
“They deserve it and we can fix those little things up, they just needed that confidence about the way they played their football and they did a really good job," Bennett said.
With Newcastle's Origin stars Darius Boyd and Beau Scott backing up five days after a hard-hitting Origin II, Bennett couldn't help but extend his respect to Boyd after the fullback crossed for a try, assisted another and ran for 107 metres.
"He had a great game for us last game against the Tigers when we played them here at home and he won players' player," Bennett said.
"He wasn't out of form so he came here today with a bit of confidence about himself and it was good to see him back up actually. It's not one of his strong points in his game so it was good to see that."
The Knights will now look to go back-to-back against the Parramatta Eels next round, a task that isn't impossible considering the Eels are coming off a 46-20 demolition at the hands of the Storm last Sunday afternoon.