Coach Rick Stone says the Newcastle Knights are still striving to reach their potential as the side takes on the St George Illawarra Dragons on Saturday.
While Stone talks about the constant need for improvement, the Knights are buoyed by an unbeaten record and the strongest start to a season since 2002.
It’s valuable confidence the men in red and blue will take into what is certain to be a challenge given the Dragons’ success rate at Hunter Stadium.
“It’s been a great start for us, we’ve worked really hard for it and competed in our games,” Stone said on Tuesday.
“We haven’t played our best I don’t think yet, but we’ve really competed hard and made sure we stayed close enough in the contest to get a win.
“We started really well last week which helped us because we got a little tired in the back end.
“We have to improve in our attack and our finishes and the quality of the execution and our kicks."
Leading the competition after four rounds, Stone assures the Knights remain level headed as they approach the Alex McKinnon Cup encounter.
“We are really careful of every game and don’t think that we can look too far ahead,” he said.
“I don’t think we’ve earned the right to do that just yet.
“We know every game is a tough game for us and so far it has been.
“I don’t think it matters who you play in the NRL, you have to be on your game and you have to fight hard every two competition points.
“The Saints on Saturday will be the same.
“I have a lot of respect for them and they have some good players.
“We know they can do a job on anyone on their day, so our job is to turn up and make sure we concentrate on ourselves.
“We are focused on doing better than we have done in the previous weeks."
The Knights won in all three grades in Round 4, ensuring a great Club day at Hunter Stadium.
“It’s really important to put some pressure on everyone, it keep everyone pretty buoyant,” he said.
“We spend another day this week with the NSW Cup and NRL team training together.
“That brings the competitive edge out in both crews.
“I think that flowed on a little bit with the NSW Cup against Penrith on the weekend.
“Having three games at the Stadium is obviously what we’d like to see and having three wins makes our fans go away hopefully a little bit happier and happy to come back this week.”