Newcastle Knights captain Kurt Gidley says the team is prepared for the Saturday’s match against Brisbane Broncos despite a number of late changes to the line-up.
“There are a couple of unfortunate changes with Kade (Snowden) and Jeremy (Smith) out, but young Joe Tapine is in, who has done really well when he’s come up to play first grade this year,” Gidley said after the team’s final training session on Friday.
“With (Willie) Mase obviously missing last week, he’ll come straight in for Snowy (Snowden).”
With three rounds to play, the Knights face a stiff opposition vying for a spot in the top eight.
“Brisbane has been playing some good footy through the year and will want to play hard to try and make the top eight," Gidley added.
“But we want to continue the footy we’ve been playing to make sure we finish off the year well."
The Knights carry confidence following gutsy wins over the Roosters, Storm and Warriors in the past few Rounds played at Hunter Stadium.
“We’ve been playing some good footy over the past six weeks and probably the key to our success is we’ve been playing hard and fast and completing our sets," Gidley said.
“Probably over all, our effort has gone up.”
Gidley, who will play at fullback, looks forward to the match at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium, renowned for its atmosphere and strong crowds.
“It’s probably the best footy stadium in Australia because it’s close to the action, there’s always plenty of fans who turn out for it," he explains.
“It’s always good to see so many Newcastle fans make the trip up, I know there’s plenty of Knights fans up in Brisbane who come out for the game.
“Their support is always appreciated.”
The Knights depart Newcastle on Friday afternoon with an 18-man team. Michael Dobson is travelling with the team for Jarrod Mullen, who has a corked calf injury.