Newcastle Knights forward Jack Stockwell’s preparation for Sunday’s game is about focusing on his individual performance and what he can offer against a menacing Wests Tigers pack.
The 23-year-old returns to the field after sitting out of Round 10 due to a virus and assures he’s fighting fit for Sunday’s match at Hunter Stadium.
“I’m just looking forward to what I can bring to the table against those quality players,” he told the media on Thursday.
“It’s always disappointing missing a game, but I didn’t want to let the team down and I think we made the right call.
“I feel good and have recovered.”
While Stockwell couldn’t pinpoint a single area the team has been lacking the last few rounds, he said the squad has paid attention to improving its defensive stats.
“I think we have been lacking in that department. Defence wins games,” he said.
“We are going to really step it up and have been doing a bit of practice on that taking it into this Tigers game.
The young Knight faces tough opponents in State of Origin and Australian Test prop, Aaron Woods as well as lock Martin Taupau.
“Aaron's a quality player, it’s always a challenge coming up against a player of that caliber, but I’m looking forward to getting out there and versing Woodsy,” Stockwell admitted.
“I have a couple of times before, but it’s going to be a big step up, but I’m looking forward to it.
“Taupau’s a powerful ball runner and a great defender and has been doing really well this year.”
Stockwell also draws strength from the consistency of the Knights’ quality training runs.
“The team is looking strong and we are training well, so I’m confident,” he said.
“We are concentrating on what we are doing each week and it’s been no different this week.
“We are just concentrating on ourselves…we’re just taking the positives out of it.”
With the side’s playmaker Jarrod Mullen not named in Sunday’s line-up due to injury, Stockwell says the Knights will adjust accordingly.
“It’s obviously a blow with Mullo being out which is unfortunate for us,” he says.
“We have a few good halves looking to to step up, I’m really happy to see what they will bring to the table.
“Tyrone is going to push us forward so I’m pretty confident.”