The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have posted a gutsy 28-22 win over the Newcastle Knights in dramatic conditions in Captain Tim Mannah and halfback Chris Sandow’s 150th NRL games on Sunday afternoon.
Eels forward Wicks spoke after the game about the importance of coming away with the two points, after suffering defeats to the Tigers and Titans.
“We had to win didn’t we,” Wicks said of their Round Seven clash.
“It might not of been the prettiest game but the two points is what we will take.”
With Newcastle throwing up some gusty conditions, the Eels and Knights made the most of the challenging weather completing the game with a 78% and 72% completion rate respectively, however Wicks said it difficult out in the middle.
“It was a funny old game,” Wicks said.
“You would score a try and then you would be thinking to yourself ‘oh no, now it’s their ball on the return’, a bit like Super League” he joked.
“On the plus, there was only wind and there wasn’t much rain which we were expecting. I think at the end of the day, we showed the fans that we weren’t going to let them down.”
Wicks was called into the starting side replacing Darcy Lussick who was ruled out through injury and the forward had a standout performance, finishing with 118m from his 15 hit ups along with 29 tackles in his 53 minute stint on the field.
Wicks, who returned to Newcastle for the first time, said it was a strange feeling returning to take on his former side, however the forward was determined to come away with the two points.
“It was a bit of a strange feeling coming back here,” Wicks said of the occasion.
“There is a bit of tension, not ill thought or anything like that.”
“I was coming back to where I made my mistake but my focus was just on winning that game. We had to come down here and win and that’s what got me over the line.” Wicks added.
With Eels captain Tim Mannah and halfback Chris Sandow playing in their 150th NRL First Grade game, Wicks said that the milestone was a big motivating factor for the Blue and Gold, and the team were determined to provide the two with a victory in their milestone match.
“That was a big motivating thing for me,” Wicks said of playing in their teammate’s milestone match.
“To be a part of two special players and two special blokes, 150 games is a great milestone and I made a commitment to myself that I didn’t want to let them down and all the boys made the same sort of commitment.”
“We are playing for each other and it’s exciting. If you are fan, get on board because it’s going to be a good year.”