The Newcastle Knights are heading into battle with the New Zealand Warriors this weekend, but they won’t be alone.
- The Knights take on the Warriors in a NRL semi-final on Saturday
- The game in Auckland is sold out
- Knights players are not surprised fans are making the trip
The 2,100 kilometre trip to Auckland isn’t enough to stop Knights fans from going to the game.
“I’ve always wanted to do a game over in Auckland and I thought going over there for a semi-final is the best time to do it,” fan Dylan Watkins said.
He said he had been supporting the Knights for almost 25 years, through the good times and the tough times.
“You’ve got to back your team from the city you were born in,” he said.
Mr Watkins is tipping Newcastle to win by a point.
“It’s going to be a very close game, but I reckon we’re going to get them,” he said.
“They’ve just got to go through the middle and just do what they’ve been doing the last 10 weeks and I think they can get the job done.”
Born in a Knights jersey
Fellow Knights fan Murray Connor said it was an easy decision to book tickets to New Zealand.
“I was born into a Knights jersey,” he said.
“The last 10 weeks have been amazing. I’m riding the wave and enjoying it.”
Mr Connor said he and his mates decided they would make the trip across the ditch before the Knights had even booked a place in the semi-final.
“We were like ‘we’re going to New Zealand if it’s happening’,” he said.
“So on Monday we got the tickets and then booked the flights.”
The Knights are going from a sold-out game in Newcastle last week to a sold-out game in Auckland.
Mr Connor said he might need to tone down his excitement if the crowd was a bit hostile.
“I get pretty vocal, but I think I’ll have to behave because those Kiwi boys might give me a bit of a flogging,” he said.
Mr Watkins said he was a little nervous about being surrounded by Warriors supporters.
“Hopefully the Warriors fans around us are nice, but there will be a few us so we should be OK.”
Knights player Dom Young said the support was invaluable.
“It will be pretty cool to see some red and blue, but I’m not surprised, they’re pretty crazy,” he said.
Teammate Dane Gagai said the fans had stuck strong with good and bad times and it would be great to see some in New Zealand.
“It can get pretty hostile and the Kiwi crowd get behind their team so we’re going to need all the support we can get,” he said.