The Newcastle Knights will be ready for a tough encounter when they take on the Cronulla Sharks after they defeated competition heavy weights the Sydney Roosters on Sunday.
Lock Jeremy Smith says the Knights are eager to put Saturday’s loss to the Dragons behind them, with the focus already on Friday’s match at Remondis Stadium.
“It was pretty tough going out there, but they were out there today and spirits seemed high, we have Cronulla on Friday,” Smith told the media on Tuesday.
“The conditions probably didn’t help, but credit to the Dragons, they defended really well and that sort of shut us out.
“We didn’t throw too much at them either. All-in-all, it was just one of those days.”
One of the major areas of attention in this week’s preparation will be in shoring up the side in attack.
“Our attack has to be a lot sharper and I think our defence isn’t too bad at the moment, probably a little bit of everything,” Smith explained.
“It’s not ideal for us coming off a loss, but we’ve got plenty of improvement.
“They played well on the weekend and gave the Roosters a fair touch up.
“We have to be on our game this week to come out with the goodies."
The New Zealand International played with the Sharks for two seasons and looks forward to the challenge of facing his former club.
“It’s always good playing against the boys you know and trying to get wood over them, but we’ll have to see what happens,’ the Round 5 Players' Player said.
“There’s a few up there I keep an eye on to see how they are going.”
Smith believes the Knights will need to compensate for the loss of enforcer Beau Scott who injured his ankle during Saturday’s match.
“He’s a massive loss, everyone sees what he does on the field,” he said.
“I love playing alongside him.
“He will be a loss, but hopefully he can get back out there as soon as he can."
However, the 34 year-old is encouraged by the fact emerging forward Korbin Sims will return to the line up after his two-match suspension.
“Another big front rower is what we need,” he said.
“It’ll be good. He’s coming off a couple of week break, so he’ll be looking for some work I guess.”
Friday night’s contest against Cronulla will mark the first time the Sims brothers will share the field in the red and blue.
“It will be good, they can inspire one another,” Smith said.
“They were pretty good in the World Cup and they tear into each other at training.
“It’s good to watch, we’ll see what happens.”