At a ground devoid of fans, it was impossible to miss.
Sitting high on top of the old scoreboard over-looking a strangely empty hill at Leichhardt Oval was the sign that celebrates a Tigers legend. The Wayne Pearce Hill.
For Knights skipper Mitchell Pearce, his father's name was the first thing he saw as his led his team into battle minus the fans against the Tigers yesterday. And it wasn't lost on him.
"I knew he was watching,"Pearce said afterwards.
Accordingly, he produced a vintage performance. He had his finger in just about everything the Knights did well.
He drove his side brilliantly while his execution with the footy was almost flawless. He kicked back behind the Tigers defence to play a major role in the Knights first try to centre Enari Tuala and put backrower Lachlan Fitzgibbon through a hole with a short pass that led to the Knights second try to Kurt Mann.
Then in the second half, he provided the perfect cross field kick for winger Edrick Lee to out-jump his opponent to cross for his third try assist.
But he wasn't finished there.With the game somehow still in the balance midway through the second half at 26-24, Pearce speared through a gap to score himself before laying on a second for Tuala with a perfectly place grubber just a few minutes later.
Within the space of those couple of minutes, he eased the tension on the face of a relieved Knights coach Adam O'Brien in the coach's box.
Pearce, who spent plenty of time as a kid watching his dad play at Leichhardt, admitted it holds plenty of memories but claimed it was strange without the fans.
"It's always great playing at Leichhardt,"he said. "Obviously it's a different atmosphere today but the coach got us from the start of the week in the right head space straight away and told us what he demanded of us.
"As a playing group, I thought we handled it really well. It's new for everyone in the competition so as far as that's concerned, its a big tick for us.
"There were patches in the game we weren't happy with but overall it was a win.
Asked about the lack of atmosphere, Peace said: "You've got to look in and create it for yourself. That's all you can do. We all want to keep playing. As players, we'll recover tonight and we can't wait to get out there against Cronulla next week.
Not far behind Pearce as the Knights best was hooker Jayden Brailey, who laid on tries for Mitch Barnett and Kalyn Ponga and continues to impress.
Injuries to Barnett and Herman Ese'ese were the major concerns for the Knights after the game. Barnett left the field with a shoulder problem that O'Brien is hopeful was just a "burner" while Ese'ese was troubled by his right ankle.
Ese'ese returned to he field in the second half but Barnett didn't come back and is in some doubt for next weekend's Sharks clash.
Another concern was the wayward goal-kicking of Ponga. The Knights fullback landed only five goals from nine attempts with his radar amiss, particularly in the second half.
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