As one of the NRL’s big boppers, Kade Snowden fully understands the importance of setting a platform up front.
In a career spanning nine seasons, Snowden has proven himself to be among the best props in the game.
So with Newcastle taking on a big Canberra pack at Hunter Stadium this Sunday, the Belmont-born bookend knows his side must contain them to claim victory.
"They are a big side Canberra and they come up hard, so we’ve just got to counteract that," Snowden said after training on Thursday.
"With Ricky (Stuart) as coach, I think any team with him will be physical.
"So we just need to start well and just maintain it.
"We are just as physical as them though and we’ve got a good size pack and a skillful one, so we’ll be ready."
Snowden says poor ball control and injuries to key players cost his side dearly in the opening round, but he insists his teammates are ready to make amends at home on Sunday.
"It was a hard week after the Penrith loss, but we’ve got most of our players back now and it can only get better," he says.
"I think it was just one of those weeks. We lost a few of our key players and they do all the ball playing, so it’s hard to lose them.
"But we are a good side and this week is a different challenge and we just need to start well."
Snowden hasn't had much luck in recent times on the back of his seven-game suspension last season and a knee injury suffered at the World Cup playing for Italy.
Yet despite the setbacks, the 27-year-old prop says he is starting to regain his confidence and fitness.
He played 48 minutes against Penrith in the opening round and hopes to build on that in the coming weeks.
"I’m getting there," he says.
"I just need a bit more fitness. I did my knee in the World Cup and it was hard missing a whole pre-season and coming back straight into it.
"So I just need to keep building into it.
"I thought I’d be a lot more buggered than what I was last week because of the heat and the amount of training that I haven’t done.
"But I got out a few minutes and I didn’t feel too bad."
Snowden is looking forward to playing at home on Sunday, admitting he loves nothing more than performing in front of the Club's passionate fans.
"Newcastle always turn out in numbers and we are all pumped, because there is no better feeling than running out to a full stadium.
"We just need to hold the ball and have none of our players get injured."