Monday night’s match between the Newcastle Knights and Brisbane Broncos is expected to feature explosive performances from both teams’ back lines.
While the Broncos are missing five of its members to Queensland Origin selection, a strong spine remains and will no doubt be the focus of the Knights leading into the clash at Hunter Stadium.
“They are a quality team and their back line has shown that,” captain Kurt Gidley said after training on Friday.
“They have plenty of blokes in their back line, that’s for sure, and plenty of blokes that show and go.
“They take the line on and we have to be wary of that.
“It’s not a week to slacken off, and if anything it’s a week to do our homework and our video.”
At fullback, Jordan Kahu will take the field for Queensland Origin representative Darius Boyd. The 24-year-old will not feel out of place after filling in for Boyd while he recovered from injury at the start of the season.
After recently moving to fullback for the Knights and making stand out appearances in the new role, Dane Gagai was called into Queensland Origin camp this week.
“I guess we have to see about Dane and we are expecting him to be back at this stage," he added.
“We are planning for Dane to be back, but Jake (Mamo) trained there this morning just to fill in.
“As for the rest of the team, it’s pretty much the same."
Past NSW Origin representatives James McManus and Akuila Uate will be looking to impress on the wing for the Knights when they match up against Lachlan Maranta and Daniel Vidot respectively. Although the Broncos wingers are lacking in experience compared to the Knights duo which boasts a combined 297 NRL games, they're expected to make up for it in flair and fervour.
Proving his versatility and selflessness, Gidley has again slotted into the team where he’s been required, this time moving from fullback to five-eighth to cover for Jarrod Mullen who has been ruled out due to a toe injury.
He will match up against Samoan international Anthony Milford in the number six jersey.
“I have played there (five-eighth) on and off during my career and there are still some areas I have to work on that’s for sure," Gidley said.
“I enjoyed it last week and it’s on again Monday.
“Being busy and enthusiastic are my assets and I think I was that last week against the Tigers.
“We still need to improve in areas like me and Tyrone (Roberts) making the right decisions in our passing and sticking to our game plan."
Knights' half Roberts will face up against Australian Test player Ben Hunt who is a mainstay for the Broncos.
The Knights' number seven is poised for the challenge after communicating earlier this week he’s feeling more confident and self-assured after contributing to the side’s recent win.
Meanwhile, Tyler Randell and new debutant, Chad Redman will do their best to handle and shut down Brisbane hooker Adam McCullough who is known for a strong game around the ruck.
The Knights skipper has faith the Knights will conjure a gutsy game against their opponent on Monday night, spurred by the desire to gain back-to-back wins.
“There have been changes over the 10 weeks, but it was the desperation and he work ethic of last week,” he said.
“We need to concentrate on Monday night and make sure we replicate that defence again. It’s another opportunity.”
The Knights host the Broncos at Hunter Stadium on Monday night, CLICK HERE for all the team news.