Starting prop Korbin Sims believes the Newcastle Knights pack is prepared for the North Queensland Cowboys to come out firing in the aftermath of their loss to the Sydney Roosters in Round one.
He says the Knights’ victory against the New Zealand Warriors has set the benchmark for the side’s defence and was a valuable test in the first round of 2015.
"It’s just going to be another test for us and I reckon our forward pack is going to be up for the challenge,” Sims said on Friday.
“The Warriors were a big physical pack and have a lot of big dudes in their side.
“The Cowboys are no different and have Matt Scott, James Tamou and Jason Taumalolo just to name a few players there.”
Part of the Knights’ preparation this week has involved identifying areas of danger in the Cowboys' attack and developing a plan to break down the opposition’s main play-makers.
“No doubt Johnathan Thurston (JT) is going to be the main threat,” he added.
“For me as a forward, it’s going to be coming off our forward pack foundation, that’s where JT gets his most fun, when his forwards lay a good platform for him and he can jump on the back of that and he can play his set plays.
“If we can try to get in between his set plays, and discomfort him as much as we can, then I think we’ll be sweet.”
Meanwhile, captain Kurt Gidley was cleared to travel after getting through Friday’s training session.
Gidley was a late exclusion before round one after experiencing tightness in his hamstring.
"He got through the session today and a full week of training, so it will be good to get him back out there to stable the ship at the back,” Sims said.
“He’s a good fullback and good utility, wherever you want to put him.
“He’s going to be a great addition to the team any position he plays."