Novocastrians held their breath until the final whistle when the Knights took on Manly-Warringah in the 1997 NRL grand final.
For cricketing mates Matt Gawthrop and Luke Stewart, competing in Sunday night's My Kitchen Rules finale is giving them those goosebumps and that feeling. Fear, excitement and nervous energy all rolled into one.
On Tuesday night they out-cooked their opponents Andy and Ruby to make it through to the 2019 MKR grand final. On Sunday night they take on socialites Ibby and Romel in the first all-male grand final showdown in MKR history for $250,000 in prize money.
To celebrate the show's 10th anniversary, both teams will cook five courses for 10 judges - as well as a packed restaurant of family, friends and this season's contestants. That's more than 100 plates and one hell of a lot of pressure.
True to form, though, they are taking it in their stride.
Matt has captained the University of Newcastle's Sea Dragons and Luke is a batsman and wicket keeper who plays for the Maitland area Northern Suburbs' first-grade side. Both men have played representative cricket in their time. Off the field, married father-of-one Luke is a primary school teacher, while Matt is a youth worker.
In the semi-final they cooked Kangaroo Tartare with Wattleseed and Nasturtium (entree); Pappardelle with Abruzzese Lamb Ragu (main); and Chocolate Tart with Espresso Semifreddo (dessert). Their final score was an impressive 59 out of 60. But it wasn't all smooth sailing.
"Serving the chocolate tart was an epic moment for us because I thought I'd stuffed up the whole cook when I put self-raising flour in mistakenly," Matt told the Newcastle Herald earlier today.
"We spent a good hour-and-a-half between courses contemplating what the hell we could do. It was the most hectic of the whole competition for us. We had to double our workload."
Luke said their success stemmed from playing to their individual strengths in the kitchen.
"In the semi-final cook when the pressure was on we didn't crumble. Even though Matt has become the pastry king and he stuffed it up royally [laughs], throughout the competition we have played to our strengths. Matt is really good at making pastry and making pasta is something I am really confident with."
Another strength, says Matt, is cooking food they both enjoying eating and "tailoring recipes around that".
"We did a couple of Middle Eastern-style dishes that weren't as good as we thought they would be and that is when we realised we should stick to what we know and love," he said.
"Matt and I identified our style reasonably early on: modern Australian with an Italian influence drawn from my background. I remember watching the episodes and some of the teams were cooking dishes from here, there and everywhere, and they struggled to find their style."
Win or lose on Sunday, the pair hope to continue a career in the food industry. They already have a few pop-up dining events planned in Maitland and are looking at extending that to Newcastle once venues are found.
"We applied for the show on a massive whim - it was a bit of a joke - but it has uncovered a real passion for food for both of us," Luke said.
"If I find a career in food I'll be a pretty happy guy."
As for the Knights grand final reference, it can be attributed to Luke: "The support from people in Newcastle has been pretty overwhelming.
"We consider ourselves to be pretty normal - we both work and play sport in the local community and have a close group of friends - but to have so many people you've never met giving us kind words of support ... the build-up to me feels like one of the greatest moments in Newcastle's history, the 1997 grand final. The whole town was behind the Knights.
"Look, I know a reality TV show is nowhere near as important as an NRL premiership but it's got that kind of feel about it for us. Lots of people are behind us and if you listen to interviews with the Knights players after that game they said it really did feel like the whole town was behind them."
The 2019 My Kitchen Rules grand final airs on Sunday, April 28, at 8pm on the Seven Network.