Warriors coach Nathan Brown would have been desperate to get one over the club he walked out on late in the 2019 season.
It was not lost on him what a threat Best was given he was the one who handed him his debut.
“He’s been a high achiever all his life and he came up with some really good plays when the Knights needed him to,” said Brown, who added he hoped Newcastle did well for the community this year.
The Knights were good with plenty of grit rather than being great. They defended their line well. They still have some all-star cavalry to return, including Kalyn Ponga and Blake Green. Kurt Mann will be back next week.
Newcastle should have no shortage of motivation to get up for the Tigers back at home given it will be Mitchell Pearce’s 300th NRL game.
It was Pearce’s spiralling bomb that was dropped by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck that led to Best and Hunt combining for their first four-pointer. O’Brien was keen to enjoy the week-long Pearce celebrations.
“To play 300, it’s unreal, and I’m really looking forward to the week, he deserves this, he deserves the guys to rally around him, which I know they will, and we’ll have him ready … we’ll try to make it as memorable as we can for him because it’s huge,” O’Brien said.
Hunt was lethal in defence and came up with a few decent shots, whacking David Fusitu’a a few times. The former Rabbit finished with more than 170 run metres. Best was on the end of a knee from Jazz Tevaga late in the first half that sparked a melee.