With the Penrith Panthers coming to town on Saturday the Newcastle Knights are facing another tough assignment and despite the Knights’ impressive start to the season, it's the in-form Panthers who are favourites.
Not that the men in red and blue mind.
“I think we’re happy to be the underdogs,” Chris Houston said following training at Hunter Stadium on Friday morning.
“We haven’t really looked at it as potentially making it four wins from four, we’re just trying to improve on every week.”
This mindset has served the Knights well so far, as they have ground out two hard-fought wins away from home in the last two weeks.
Both victories were clinched late, showing plenty of endurance as well as nerves of steel.
“You probably need to credit our conditioning staff… we’ve shown some good fitness in the back end of games,” Houston said of their recent form.
“We were pretty resilient I suppose but this will be a big test for us on Saturday.”
The Panthers finished in the top four last season and are tipped to be a sternest challenge of the season so far.
“They were a quality side last year, and they’ve kept their form in 2015,” Houston said.
“If we do get the win tomorrow it’ll be great, because I think it’s just a goal for us to win our home games and make our fans proud of us.”
If the Knights are to do this they will have to negate a Panthers line-up brimming with talent.
“They’ve got a few big-name players but whoever they bring in just seems to do the job for them,” Houston said Saturday’s opposition.
“Matt Moylan is very dangerous, he brings the ball back well and Mansour’s back from injury as well.
“Both of those players help them get on their front foot I suppose, so we’ll need to do a good job on them early.”
Part of that duty will go to Samoan international Dave Fa’alogo, who will be starting his first match of the season.
“Dave’s played plenty of footy and he works on his quick play the balls that make him a different type of player to Korbin Sims (who is out through suspension)," Houston added.
“Kade Snowden’s trained alright, he did a bit of extra work with the physios and I think he got through that pretty well.
“Stoney will give him up to game time to prove he’s fit, but he trained well.”