Belief returns for Buderus's Knights
Kurt Gidley will not have too many fond memories of his final NRL season but what he and his teammates pulled off on Monday night will stay in the veteran's mind forever.
Newcastle put in an 80-minute performance that made a mockery of the last place on the ladder they held prior to kick-off as they ran out 20-8 winners to all but end the Storm's top-four aspirations.
Tyrone Roberts (one try and an assist) outshone Cooper Cronk in a man-of-the-match performance to lead a Knights effort that was nothing short of inspired.
It may not be the dream final year Gidley had hoped for as he prepares to depart for the Super League at season's end but the 33-year-old labeled Monday night's win up there with the very best of his 248-game career.
"One hundered per cent. Walking off there, I know it is probably special because I know I've only got two games left but looking back it is one of the greatest, most satisfying wins of my career," Gidley said.
"After a really tough season it is one I will never forget that is for sure. To defend so well against a team like that, it does go down as one of my greatest wins. It is something I won't forget."
It was a sentiment shared by Knights interim coach Danny Buderus in the sheds after the game.
"I just said to Kurt in there that I'm just really happy for him as well because he gets to have a memory, a real lasing memory," Buderus said.
"That is one of the great wins of his career. We are a side that has been battling all year, been fronting up and it has been tough at times but it looks like we are going to have a bit of fun at the back end of the year."
It has been a tumultuous season for the Knights that culminated in the sacking of coach Rick Stone a month ago.
However back-to-back wins have provided some rare relief as they move away from the dreaded wooden spoon with games against the Bulldogs and Panthers to come.
The Knights now sit one win clear of the last-placed Wests Tigers, who face the Warriors and the Dragons in their final two games.
Newcastle now appear a playing group that has discovered some late-season vigor under a club legend who preaches one simple mantra for success.
"We had a theme for the week, it was around belief and getting in a headspace to be able to compete down here and I thought that went well," Buderus said.
"We've got a lot of guys in there believing now which is fantastic."