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Two things will be driving Kade Snowden when he comes up against the North Queensland Cowboys on ANZAC Day at Hunter Stadium.

The first will be to pay respect in the best way he knows to all of the Australians and New Zealanders who served and died for their countries.

The second will be to do well by Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, both of which were affected by the severe storms and flooding during the week.

“It’s probably the most important game we’ve had in a while with what’s been going on in Newcastle with the storms,” Snowden said at a press conference on Friday morning.

“It would be good to give the fans that show up after all that bad weather just a little bit of hope and pay them back,” he said.

The veteran forward also places great personal significance in ANZAC Day, and will be as motivated as anyone when the game against the Cowboys kicks off on Saturday afternoon.

Snowden’s grandfather, Bryant, fought in the Korean War when he was only 16 using his brother’s birth certificate, and died nine years ago from the toll that conflict took on him.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever played on ANZAC Day, so it’s a special day and I’m just glad to be a part of it,” Snowden said.

“My grandfather was in the Korean War and he went to war at 16, so it will be a big day for the family.

“I think there’s only a few of us that have ever played on ANZAC Day, and I think the boys just need to control their emotions in the morning so they don’t burn themselves out.”

Snowden knows everybody on his team will have to be on their game against the in-form Cowboys, but thinks that he needs to lift his own performance in particular.

While Snowden started the season in red-hot form, he believes he has struggled to maintain his high standards as the Knights have suffered three losses on the bounce.

“I haven’t been that good over the last couple of weeks, but it was a solid start to the season and I think that four week block was my best football for a while, so I want to get back to that form.”

Saturday April 25 – Round 8
Newcastle Knights v North Queensland Cowboys
Gates open: 11am
NYC: 11.15am
ANZAC Ceremony: 1.45pm
NRL: 2pm
Venue: Hunter Stadium