A REVAMPED Newcastle Knights unit brought home an emotional hometown victory against the Gold Coast Titans Saturday, ending a colossal 336-day drought on the back of an embarrassing wooden-spoon finish to the 2016 season.
If nothing else is worse than losing 19 games on the trot, forgetting the lyrics of the club victory song is surely a close second.
Former Knights star and sports presenter Matty Johns revealed the moment Jamie Buhrer, a newly appointed forward at Newcastle, approached him with a piece of paper with the words to Long Live the Newcastle Knights written down.
"Jamie Buhrer came up to me and goes 'I can't believe how short the team victory song is!'" Johns said on Triple M radio.
"I said 'yeah,' and then he holds up a sheet of paper and says: 'Is this it here?'
"I said 'mate, what's this sheet all about?'
Buhrer then dropped possibly the most embarrassing line to be uttered in a team's changeroom after a win.
"Mate, no one knows it," he said.
"So everyone was standing there with their sheets. It the first time a lot of them had done it, so it was a real good day out."
Newcastle coach Nathan Brown believes a showing from the club's old boys inspired his side to snap their 19-game losing streak with a 34-26 win over Gold Coast.
Knights legends Andrew and Matthew Johns, Danny Buderus and Paul Harragon were just some of the names in the sheds pre-game as part of the club's 30-year anniversary.
"A lot of those guys helped build foundations, which led to premierships in '97 and 2001," Brown said after Saturday's win in their home-opener of the season.
"I'd like this group of players to be the players that lay the basis of the club to have a good era.
"Those old boys, every one of them in the sheds today, there's not one that's not tough and a good competitor. That's really what we're trying to get to."
Three times the Knights came back after falling behind against a brave Titans side that were forced to play the final 43 minutes with a rotation of 14 players due to injury.
Among them was star fullback Jarryd Hayne, who limped from the field midway through the second half after colliding with Knights halfback Trent Hodkinson.
In the space of 11 minutes, the visitors also lost winger Anthony Don and Karl Lawton to shoulder dislocations from separate incidents.
It was pure elation for Newcastle as the Knights ended a 336-day drought.
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