Gagai ready for Knights revival

Now for his next trick – revitalising NRL cellar dwellers Newcastle.

Winger Dane Gagai pulled off a remarkable turnaround when he overcame a quad strain to bag a rare hat-trick in Queensland’s 26-16 State of Origin II win on Wednesday night.

Incredibly he now has five Origin tries in his first three games, travelling at the same clip as reigning try scoring record holder and Queensland teammate Greg Inglis.

It’s a hard act to follow.

But Gagai reckons he can pull it off by chiming into a NRL revival with the Knights.

“We’ve got a long way to go yet but I enjoy my time with (coach) Nathan Brown, I can see what he is doing and I believe in it,” Gagai said of the lowly Knights.

“I am sticking by him and doing what I can to help out there and get us in a position where we can start winning games.”

That will be easier said than done.

The Knights are dead last with a 1-1-12 (win-draw-loss) tally and a woeful minus 329 points differential.

Newcastle were travelling so badly that Queensland selectors at one stage considered shelving their trademark loyalty and overlooking incumbent Maroons winger Gagai for Origin I this year.

They rolled the dice and stuck by him.

Now the confidence gained from his Origin heroics have steeled Gagai to stick by besieged Knights mentor Brown.

“It crossed my mind that I might miss out (on Origin),” Gagai said.

“But when I am at the Knights I am doing all I can to get us in a position to where we can be a force to be reckoned with.”

Knights fullback Gagai backed up well from his quad complaint but it is unknown whether Brown will rest him from Newcastle’s NRL home clash with the Dragons on Saturday night.

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