Kieran Foran laid down an impressive counter-offer as he and the Bulldogs negotiate extending his luckless stint at Belmore, playing a lead role in caretaker coach Steve Georgallis's first NRL win in 3256 days.
Canterbury clung onto an 18-0 lead over top-four fancies Newcastle on Sunday to prevail deserving 18-12 victors in sideways rain for just their second win of 2020.
For interim coach Georgallis it was his first win as an NRL head coach since he was at the helm with Penrith in his previous interim stint in 2011, when a Luke Walsh field goal secured a thrilling win over Canberra in late August.
Foran was equally influential off the boot against the Knights, engineering two Bulldogs tries with grubbers and what should have been a third but for a Jake Averillo fumble as he looked to ground the ball.
The veteran Kiwi half knows he is facing a substantial pay cut from his $1 million-plus salary to stay with the Bulldogs.
Match Highlights: Knights v Bulldogs
An offer between $300,000-$400,000 has been floated by Canterbury in the early stages of negotiations, and Foran showed on Sunday he can still influence proceedings when his body doesn't betray him.
"It means everything to this group because they've put in efforts like this and haven't got the win," Georgallis said before referencing last week's devastating loss to St George Illawarra in which Foran was an early casualty from an illegal high shot by Tariq Sims.
"Last week they put in a great effort ... and unfortunately our game management wasn't up to scratch.
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"We saw a little bit of that today, and lucky for us Kieran Foran was out there.
"And with his experience some of his kicks towards the end of that game helped and hopefully as a team we can understand that what you do at the end of the set is just as important as what you do at the beginning of the set.
"I thought we learned a little bit more about that today. But I just can't thank the players enough for that win. It was a great feeling."
The Bulldogs take on western Sydney rivals Parramatta next Sunday, with the seven-day turnaround to help them recover from a gruelling affair in torrid conditions.
An upset win over Newcastle will do Canterbury's players a world of good after tremendous upheaval in recent weeks, according to Georgallis, who has expressed a desire to stay at the club when Trent Barrett takes charge next season.
"Any type of winning feels great," Georgallis said.
"We didn't even talk after the game, we just went straight into the team song. That's how happy we were."