Korbin Sims says the Newcastle Knights are ready to prove themselves against the North Queensland Cowboys, a side he expects to be be hungry for redemption after its Round 2 defeat.
After a strong start to the season, the Knights go into Saturday's match off the back of three straight losses while their opponent come to town winning their last three.
“It was disappointing. We got off to such a great start,” Sims said about the Knights' loss to the Parramatta Eels.
“Our backs were on fire in the first half and we just couldn’t continue it."
With a high error count marring the Knights’ Round 7 game, Sims said he’s grateful coach Rick Stone has given individual players the opportunity to improve.
“He’s obviously shown us some faith to keep the same side that we’ve lost the last three games with,” he said.
“Moving forward it’s promising that if we can get a win this weekend, it will show our faith back to (Rick) Stoney as well.
“We expected so much of ourselves in the Cronulla game, to try and get back in the winners circle and now we are three deep on the other side of the fence.
“Now we just have to move forward and focus on this weekend against the Cowboys.”
The Knights will draw on their second half comeback against the Cowboys up north come ANZAC Day and will look to minimise the impact of a number of threats.
“You have to shut down the key players. We aren’t only going to do it to (Johnathan) Thurston but to the likes of Matthew Scott and Jason Taumalolo,” he said
“They have key players around the park, we can’t just single out one player. If JT (Thurston) is off his game, someone else is going to be on that’s what Jake Granville showed the other weekend.
“That’s just the player that JT is, he makes a lot out of nothing.
“He is the go forward in his side, but if we shut down their key players we can control the game.”
The 23-year-old prop has also sized up the Cowboys' pack and has invested confidence in the Knights’ ability to withstand a likely bombardment.
“Coming up against any forwards in a big forward pack is really challenging and exciting for me,” he said.
“I have Kade Snowden alongside me who I really admire for the way he’s been playing in the first couple of weeks of footy.
“That’s what I’ve been trying to work on and that’s working the best I can with him on the park.
“We are trying to build a connection there that we can take week in week out.”
The match also marks his brother, Tariq Sims’ first encounter with his former team.
“He’s going to be fairly pumped up to play that game,” he said about Tariq.
“He’s been pretty good on the first two weeks that he’s been back.
“I’m sure he’s going to have another big one.”
Most importantly the match, which falls on ANZAC Day, will commemorate 100 years of ANZAC service.
“It’s going to be a really emotional weekend for a lot of teams, so if we can move forward and hopefully get a win it will be right for us,” Sims concluded.
Saturday April 25 – Round 8
Newcastle Knights v North Queensland Cowboys
Gates open: 11am
ANZAC Ceremony: 1.45pm
Venue: Hunter Stadium