Newcastle fans have voted with their feet and set their lowest home attendance since 1997.
After weeks of turmoil capped off by Nathan Brown quitting the club immediately with two rounds to go, the fans are clearly fed up.
When the Knights took on the Gold Coast Titans at Hunter Stadium on Saturday, just 8274 fans showed up.
It marked their lowest home crowd since 1997, and their lowest ever on Old Boys Day.
Newcastle's crowd of 8,274 is their lowest since July 1997 and lowest ever on Old Boys Day. Rain or no rain, this is a club who has lost the backing of fans over the past fortnight. #NRLKnightsTitans— Scott Bailey (@ScottBaileyAAP) August 31, 2019
Knights fans are known for showing their support rain, hail or shine - especially for the day that celebrates their favourite players of the past.
Admittedly, the weather on Saturday was abysmal, but many thought the poor attendance was a sign that fans were filthy.
#NRLKnightsTitans Newcastle is leading comfortably, but the crowd is tiny. A friend said it's like the crowd you get for a NSW Cup match— jason cadden (@jasonjourno) August 31, 2019
Newcastle fans have let their feelings be known.Unusual for the ground to be 80% empty,even with rain.Maybe not happy with whats happened the last fortnight. #NRLKnightsTitans— Herbie Walnut (@GigglingSkip) August 31, 2019
Newcastle fans have clearly voted with their feet today. Who can blame them. When you think of what they’ve gone through for the past five seasons, they’ve earnt the right to lose patience. Don’t blame the weather. We’ve seen more in worse than this today #NRLKnightsTitans— NRL CONSPIRACIES 🤔👀🏉 (@NrlConspiracies) August 31, 2019
Shocking weather up at Newcastle. Like Knights fans needed any other excuses not to turn up tonight— Rooster Trooper TK1908 (@RoosterTrooper) August 31, 2019
Remember the day the Newcastle fans voted on the clubs past few weeks coaching debacle with their feet......Crowd size for today’s fixture 57 #ouch— Matthew Guyatt (@MattyGuyatt) August 31, 2019
Well looks like Newcastle fans how shown there true colours at today game.— Jenni (@jentoo) August 31, 2019
Have chosen to go out with my friends rather than stay home and watch Newcastle play. If that makes me unloyal or a bad fan then so be it. I'm still recovering after sitting through that rubbish at Campbelltown last week— Mel (@mel_laah) August 31, 2019
Knights put horror fortnight behind them
Newcastle put a dramatic fortnight behind them with a 38-4 demolition of a hapless Gold Coast.
Just days after coach Brown walked out on the club, the Knights ran in seven tries to one to post one of their biggest wins of the season.
It comes a week after a 46-4 no-show against the Wests Tigers, which prompted Brown, who had already decided to leave at season's end, to depart on Tuesday.
The victory remarkably keeps the Knights' slim finals hopes alive, lifting them to within two points of eighth-placed Cronulla, who face Canberra on Sunday.
Much of the build-up had centred on the events that led to Brown's exit, as well as the club's handling of the dramas since falling on his sword two weeks ago.
Players were also accused of giving up on their coach against the Tigers.
Those who did show up were treated to a Knights team, led by interim coach Kristian Woolf, who looked unburdened by their off-field woes.
Stars David Klemmer, Kalyn Ponga and Mitchell Pearce were strong, although lesser names Mason Lino and Mitch Barnett were arguably best on ground.
For the last-placed Titans, showing little resolve in slumping to their 10th-straight defeat, the end of the season can't come quickly enough.
The clouds only seemed to have darkened when the Knights conceded a soft first try to Titans halfback Ryley Jacks in just the fourth minute.
However, from the moment Klemmer threw a rare pass to put Pearce over untouched 10 minutes later, the clouds lifted.
Barnett crossed next before Hymel Hunt was on the end of a 90-metre movement in what was easily the highlight of the afternoon.
The Titans looked destined to score before Lino intercepted close to the line, and the Knights went through four sets of hands to go the length for Hunt to score.
A Connor Watson try gave Newcastle a 20-point lead at halftime, prompting the hearty fans to give their team a standing ovation as they left the field.
The points continued to flow after the break, including a maiden try to highly touted youngster Bradman Best, set up by Ponga.