Experienced prop Kade Snowden said he felt more energy and a higher sense of intensity at training on Thursday as the team heads into Sunday’s match against the St George Illawarra Dragons.
The Newcastle Knights have harnessed inspiration from Danny Buderus as he steers the team into his first game as interim head coach.
“The boys got stuck in and I think that’s what we have been missing,” Snowden said.
“It was good to finish off the week like that before we go down to Sydney.
“Every one is working hard and they are putting in for Danny.
“He’s what Newcastle is all about and we need to get behind him.”
The Knights view this weekend’s Round 21 match as a starting point for improvements so are intently focused on containing the Dragons after a loss to the opposition in Round 5.
“They got us and the two points last game,” he said.
“If we want to do something for the end of the year, we need to start this week.
“We’ve been embarrassed all year. Every game that we lose we are embarrassed.
“When we do play the way we should, we either win or come close to and we haven’t done it all year."
From the atmosphere at training, Snowden detects the team is on the right track.
“It might just be this change we needed to spark us, but the way we are training, and been talking, I think it has to start this weekend,” he said.
“The way we have trained this week. It’s been a lot more intense.”
As a senior member of the Knights’ pack, he felt regret and sadness over the departure of Rick Stone, but believes the team can’t afford for the events of the week to affect performance.
“I think it’s a bit different for everyone, but all the boys are pretty shattered and pretty upset,” he said.
“Ever since I’ve been back here, Stoney (Stone) has taught me a lot and I regard him as a friend.
“It’s hard to see him not here, but that’s not under my control.
“That’s the board’s decision and we have to get on with it.
“We have to show the town and Danny that we can stick in there and we can win games.
“We need to really stick together in the next six weeks and put in for not just Danny but the whole of Newcastle."