The Newcastle Knights' assistant coaches Danny Buderus and Craig Sandercock have joined forces this week to analyse the team's performance in the lead up to Sunday's match against the Parramatta Eels.
After consecutive losses both coaches believe the Knights are more eager than ever to return to the football that saw them earn victories in the first four rounds of the season.
“We’re looking forward to a long week. We have a bit of a turn around from our Friday night into Sunday against Parramatta,” Buderus said.
“The two weeks we’ve had have not probably been what we have wanted with the start that we’ve had to the season.
“There’s a bit of work to be done.
“I think defensively we have a bit to work on this week.
“We have a pretty hard week at training this week which all the boys are looking forward to before getting back out there on Sunday in front of our home fans.
With Parramatta posting just two wins after six rounds, Sandercock expects the opposition to come out firing against the Knights at Hunter Stadium.
“Their games against Souths and Manly, they were excellent,’ Sandercock said.
“They’ve obviously had some good results and have some strike weapons, so how are we going to beat them?” Sandercock asked.
“Respecting the ball is the big thing for us at the moment and getting possession and an even amount of possession,” Buderus said.
“At the moment we are nowhere near even amount of possession with other teams and we are still hanging in there.
“The game can be a lot easier on us if we do respect the ball and not make as many errors.
“There were a lot of errors on Friday night against Cronulla, and probably against St George as well.
“We need some good kick chase and get into the grind a little bit.”
“We’ve had training and a video session, now what’s the plan for the rest of the week?” Sandercock asked Buderus.
“The rest of the week is about just getting them mentally right to play well on Sunday,” Buderus said.
“It’s a long week so you can get a bit of work done, so the defensive stuff where you can put a bit more intensity into them and a bit more bump and grind to freshen them up for the game.”
“It’s all three grades at Hunter Stadium this weekend, I know we have a lot of very passionate supporters out there who watch all our teams play,” Sandercock said.
“For anyone who gets there early, our NSW Cup team is playing first - are there any players to watch out for that our supporters should keep a close eye on?” he asked Buderus.
“We have Jake Mamo, he’s doing really well switching between fullback and wing with Nathan Ross,” Buderus said.
“They are both excitement machines.
“Pat Vaivai is doing a good job in the middle and has played a bit of first grade this year.
“Clint Newton has been enjoying his role there in controlling a lot of things with the culture of the place and he’s enjoying that role.
“Chad Redman is a hooker that’s playing 80 minutes a game and is there round about on the fringe of first grade.
“I’m sure he’ll get his chance one day soon.”
According to the ex-Club captain, there’s also plenty of emerging talent to keep an eye on in the Youth Competition.
“It will be great for everyone to get there to watch the three grades, especially our 20s with the young guys and new prospects,” he said.
“We have the Saifiti twins (Jacob and Daniel), the boys from Fiji and the Central Coast, they are big guys as well as (Josh) King, another front rower.
“They are some guys the Newcastle fans can relate to.
We also have Danny, a pretty sharp kid out of there who is probably ready to make the next step up into some sort of grade.
“Then we have the two young kids Jack Cogger and Brock Lamb.
“They are big prospects for our Club I’m sure.”
Sunday April 19 – Round 7
Newcastle Knights v Parramatta Eels
Gates open: 11.30am
NSW Cup: 11.45am
Venue: Hunter Stadium