A Newcastle Rugby League premiership remains on the agenda of Cessnock coach Todd Edwards despite losing a sixth grand final, but the experienced mentor rates respect above all else.
Edwards' Goannas were blown away 36-0 by minor premiers Western Suburbs at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday.
"There's better coaches than me that have never experienced this," Edwards said.
"I've been lucky enough to be here [grand final] six times and have a crack.
"I'm sure I'll get plenty of phone calls and texts over the next few days, but I'd rather be in it than on the drink last Monday or the Monday before or even the Monday before that.
"You get the respect of the players and when they look you in the eye and tell you stuff. That's what I get enjoyment from.
"Comps are great and consistency is good too, but when you're talking to opposition players and coaches and you get their respect, that's what I worry about.
"Comps are good, but they're not everything."
Edwards said his squad were "disappointed" to perform poorly in the decider and not break the club's 16-year title drought, but acknowledged the run of four straight must-win encounters Cessnock overcame to reach the 2019 showdown.
"I'm proud of what we achieved in the last four weeks," he said.
Cessnock followed in the 2013 footsteps of Kurri to make a grand final from fifth.
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