The short turn around between rounds is counted as a blessing for Newcastle Knights’ captain Kurt Gidley who is eager for redemption after Sunday’s loss against the Dragons.
The Knights are keen to return to their winning ways when they face the Cronulla Sharks backed-up by a positive record at Remondis Stadium.
“I think any time after a loss and a disappointing one like that, you’re ready for the game almost the next day,” Gidley told the media on Thursday before the team traveled to Sydney.
“You want to try and get on with things and play the next team and it’s good that it’s come around Friday night against the Sharks."
While Cronulla was slow to start the season, the Knights are wary of a shift in tempo following their gutsy win against the Sydney Roosters last week.
“They have a pretty big pack and are mobile, so they will challenge you through the middle,” he said.
“Their outside backs can put some pretty good plays on, so again we need to be strong defensively, have plenty of talk and plenty of line speed to put some pressure on those guys.
20-year-old five-eighth Jack Bird emerged as one of the opposition’s most dangerous new talents and will be one to watch according to Gidley.
“I thought he was really good and quick and was challenging on the line. He’s certainly one we have to watch, but there are plenty of outside backs we have to watch,” he said.
“We have to make sure we communicate."
Another observed threat will be Ben Barba who has been named on the Sharks’ bench after returning from redemption.
“That’s a dangerous part where he can come on and have a free reign, he could be floating around anywhere on the field so we have to nominate him and make sure we are aware when he is on the park," he added.
Gidley believes the Knights must get back to the brand of football that captured attention in the first four games of the year.
“We need to play to our strengths which is moving the ball,” he said.
“I think that worked in the first month for our game.
“We have some great outside backs and halves when they’re coming on to the ball well and calling the shots.
“We are an attacking team and we need to play towards that, but also the first month was about defending well as well."'
One thing the veteran utility is certain about is the fact the Knights will be prepared to contribute their all in the Round 6 match at Shark Park.
“Every game is a challenge in the NRL and every game is tough,” he said.
“I don’t believe there’s any harder team than the next team, you have to be on your game every week.
“That’s why the game is so great these days, you have to be up for physically and mentally.
“I’m not worried what happened last year or the year before…we have to get off to a good start to make sure we come home with two points.”
The Knights travel to Sydney on Thursday afternoon as named 1-18.