With Newcastle Knights fans in desperate need of cheering up, Wind-back Wednesday relives the club’s last great success – the 2001 NRL grand final defeat of the Parramatta Eels.
Arguably the most devastating assault ever witnessed in the opening 40 minutes of a grand final delivered the Knights their second premiership, defeating minor premiers Parramatta 30-24 after opening up a 24-0 lead at the break.
With captain and Churchill Medal winner Andrew Johns pulling the strings, the Knights piled on four tries in the opening 32 minutes, Bill Peden scoring twice and fellow engine-room heroes Steve Simpson and Ben Kennedy also crossing.
Two gilt-edged Parramatta tryscoring chances were foiled by incredible Newcastle cover defence during the first half, and it took until the 58th minute for fullback Brett Hodgson to put the Eels on the board.
A spectacular Timana Tahu try from a Johns bomb shortly afterwards effectively sealed the match. Jamie Lyon and Hogdson completed doubles to give shell-shocked Parramatta a faint sniff in the dying moments, but the Knights held off a last-second attacking raid to secure the NRL trophy.