Taking on the Storm in Melbourne is one of the NRL's toughest road trips, but enforcer Willie Mason insists the Newcastle Knights are ready for the challenge.
On the back of two losses to start the season, Mason spoke about the importance of the Club putting in a strong performance against the Storm.
"We just need to keep improving every week, because we are building towards something," Mason said after recovery on Monday.
"So it will be great to start with a win in Melbourne.
"It’s one of the hardest tasks to do in rugby league, so we are pretty pumped for it."
Mason says last year's memorable semi-final victory over the Storm still lives with the players.
The 18-16 semi-final win ended a 10-match losing streak in Melbourne and the veteran forward has encouraged his teammates to bottle that positive feeling heading into next Monday's big clash at AAMI Park.
"That (Storm semi-final) was a massive game," he recalls.
"The people that played in that game remember that game and remember how hard it was.
"I’m pretty sure Melbourne remember that game as well and they’ll be wanting to get one back on us.
"We need to kick-start our season down there, so it doesn’t matter if is Melbourne, Brisbane or Manly, we need to win."
Newcastle didn't get the win against Canberra on Sunday, but Mason says his side gained some invaluable self-belief from the match.
"Confidence is a big thing and we gained some last night," he says.
"We were still a bit sloppy in some areas in defence, but against Melbourne we need to play for 80 minutes otherwise we are going to get beaten.
"Everybody recognises that and it’s a massive challenge for us and everybody is really keen for it."
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