'Lowest ever': Fans abandon Newcastle Knights in shocking club first

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

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.

The Knights set their lowest home attendance since 1997. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

It marked their lowest home crowd since 1997, and their lowest ever on Old Boys Day.

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.

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.

Nathan Brown quit with immediate effect. Image: AAP

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.

with AAP