David Klemmer was just nine when Scott Sattler cut down Todd Byrne with the tackle that inspired Penrith’s upset of the Roosters in the 2003 NRL title decider.
For the Newcastle, NSW and Australian pack leader, who was not even born when Tina Turner’s “Simply The Best” promotion captured the imagination of rugby league fans 30 years ago, Sattler’s moment in the spotlight is one of several highlights of the new NRL television commercial.
“That’s something I always remembered as a kid,” Klemmer told NRL.com on Tuesday.
“I remember him chasing him down, so it was pretty good to see that, and other things there like the Souths [fans’] march to get back into the comp, so it was pretty cool. It’s a good ad.
“It’s great that they’ve got the women’s game in there too. They’re pretty big steps in our game so to see them showcasing that in the ad shows how far we’ve come as a game. It’s great to see.”
Klemmer spoke to NRL.com on Tuesday after helping present the NRL’s Inspire Respect program to St Pius X Primary School students at Windale.
“It’s all about respect and healthy living … respecting each other, respecting people and respecting yourself as well,” Klemmer said.
The 26-year-old front-rower, who will start his second campaign for the Knights and eighth overall in Newcastle’s season-opener against the Warriors at McDonald Jones Stadium on March 14, has welcomed the introduction of the captain’s challenge.
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Klemmer will leave the rules research and decision-making to new coach Adam O’Brien and skipper Mitchell Pearce but will happily provide some on-field input if he feels he has been wronged.
“Obviously if you’ve been hard done by, you can challenge something, which will be pretty awesome to see,” Klemmer said.
“The coaching staff and ‘Pearcey’ and the senior players will have a look into it, so I reckon it will be useful, but we’ll have to see how it pans out and how games go and how people react if they get the wrong call …
“If you feel like there’s more than one in the tackle and the ball comes out, you’ve got to move on pretty quickly but if it ends up as a try, you’re filthy. But with the captain’s challenge, you can ask your captain to challenge it if you genuinely think it’s been raked out.”
Klemmer, who played 40 minutes in Newcastle’s 58-0 victory over a second-tier Roosters squad in a trial at Gosford on February 29, is pleased to have another productive pre-season behind him but knows the other 15 clubs have spent their summer working just as hard.
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After their disastrous end to last season, Klemmer expects the Knights to hit the ground running against the Warriors.
“We’ve put in a lot of work but it’s up to us to turn up in round one,” he said.
“We’re all fit and strong and ready to go, and it’s about being ready mentally and preparing for round one against the Warriors.
“Obviously last year was well documented how disappointing the season was. We didn’t want to end the season like that – it was pretty shocking – but we’ve addressed it and we don’t want that to happen again to us.
“We’ve got a quality side and quality people and last season didn’t sit well with us, but we’ve done the work, and ’Adzy’ (O’Brien) has come in with his new style and given a lot of belief in the playing group.
“A lot of people doubted themselves last year but there’s a lot of belief and trust within the club, which is good to see.”