Robbie Rochow expects strong defence to be the Newcastle Knights’ main objective in keeping a red-hot Brisbane Broncos side under control on Friday night.
It’s what’s at the forefront of the 24-year-old's mind as the team hits the road on the eve of the Round 17 match at Suncorp Stadium and he prepares to slot into the position of lock.
“Most of all we are focusing on our defence and how we can improve from last week,” he told the media on Thursday morning.
“Their ball players are definitely a key part of their game.
“Ben Hunt and Darius (Boyd) are vital in their attack and how they play against you.
“That’s certainly key indicators for us and where we want to be strong defensively.
“There are a few things we’ve looked at and how we want to attack.”
With the Knights’ pack depleted by injury it’s even more of a reason for the side to be switched on when defending their line.
“I think that was a little bit evident last week, we were a little bit short in the middle,” he said.
“There is a big challenge this week, so we have to work hard for the whole game."
The Knights put the finishing touches on preparation with an extended captain’s run at Knights HQ on Thursday morning.
“It was a little bit longer than usual in the hope to get our game plan sorted and hopefully can execute a bit better than we did last week,” he said.
“We need to play well and perform what we did at training today and make sure all the little effort areas are there."
Rochow returns for his second appearance after undergoing a back operation and believes Friday’s match will prove much easier this time around compared to his return to the field on Sunday.
“It was good to play, but I probably didn’t have as much match fitness as I would have liked,” he said.
“I didn’t have too much of a chance to do a lot of fitness leading into that game with my rehab.
“This week I’ll be better.”
After last week’s game that was characterised by lapses in concentration, Rochow say’s they’ll be a concerted effort in improving focus and execution.
“For me it starts individually. If I have to play more minutes, I just have to focus on the processes of my next job, and I know what they are defensively,” he said.
“There were parts of my game I wasn’t happy with and I worked through that defensively with Danny Buderus and the coaches.
“I was extremely confident with my injury, I just wish I had a bit more match fitness.
“That’s what I was dealt and I’m feeling good about this week.”