Danny Buderus was the first to praise the Newcastle players following their crushing victory over Manly on Saturday.
It was the club’s third victory in their last four matches which keeps them in touch with the top eight teams in the ladder.
“We changed a few things this week on the back of last week, we were very disappointing, and the spirit was there tonight,” skipper Buderus told the club website after the game.
“From the players, we’ve talked about the history lessons of the past, the rivalry between the two teams, but at the end of the day it comes from within.
“When you challenge a footballer, you’d like to think that the character and the courage stands up and they did tonight.”
Buderus was also happy to see another commanding performance from former Brisbane centre Dane Gagai, who weighed in with a try.
“Dane’s obviously been in a great system,” added Buderus.
“You can tell by the way he competes at training to the way he trains, it obviously goes onto the field.
“The combination that he and Aku have got, you’d like to see that sewn up for a lot of years to come here for the Knights.”