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Gagai to get more time at back for Knights

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/05/2017 Scott Bailey

Dane Gagai will spend more time at fullback for Newcastle after shifting to the role for the Knights' 34-20 NRL win over Canberra.

Gagai's future at the Knights remains uncertain as he is yet to activate an extension, but he brushed it all aside on Sunday afternoon.

In his first game at fullback this season, Gagai ran for 124 metres and broke through five tackles to play a key role in the victory.

Crucially, according to Fox Sports Stats he got his hands on the ball 22 times, well up on the 10 he had in his last start in the centres against the Gold Coast.

"He's a very gifted attacking player and when he is at fullback he can get himself involved in the game a lot more," Knights coach Nathan Brown said.

"For the balance of our team, and at this stage it seems like it might be a better fit for Gags to get a lot more opportunity."

Gagai has scored just one try and created one try assist this season, with the Queensland centre strugglingd for opportunities on the right edge.

When asked whether Gagai will continue to play at fullback ahead of former No.1 Brendan Elliot, Brown suggested he would stay there for next Saturday's clash with Penrith.

"I would have thought it won't be a one off at this stage," Brown said.

Brown was also happy with the combination of halves Brock Lamb and Jaelen Feeney, just 20 and 22 years of age respectively, in their third game together.

The Knights scored six tries in the win, and equalled their highest point-scoring haul for a match since the end of 2014.

"They did really well," Brown said.

"Lamby has copped a little bit of criticism but people don't take in to account his age and experience.

"Today he got an 80 minute performance where he got a good all-round performance in attack and defence against some big quality players.

"I thought Jaelen played a good controlled game ... he adds a bit of pace to us in and around the ruck area, which is important."

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