The NSW Cup Newcastle Knights know very well what to expect from the Penrith Panthers when the two sides meet on Sunday in week two of the NSW Cup finals.
The 2015 season has already seen two encounters between the teams, and according to Jaelen Feeney, Sunday’s re-match is going to be a physical game with plenty of emotion.
You see, the match is a replay of the NSW Cup 2014 grand final which saw the NSW Cup Knights go down to the side after a stellar season.
In Round 4 of this year, the Knights defeated the opposition on home turf, only for the Panthers to get one back in Round 14 at Pepper Stadium.
So Sunday’s match is a chance for the Knights to continue their finals campaign while settling the record.
Feeney believes the Knights’ attitude was in the right place as the side built for a re-match against the Manly Sea Eagles that saw the team record a 45-6 triumph.
“We had a good vibe..but knew we had to lift for that game,” Feeney said.
“We knew if we brought a different mentality than we did the week before, then we’d get the win.
“We were pretty confident in our ability and we just let the one slip the week before.
“With a great completion rate and great defence from the boys, the scoreline sorted it out for itself.”
The NSW Cup Knights’ preparation for Sunday’s high stakes final is in full swing with Newcastle's focus on defence.
“Whatever team that’s going to defend the best is going to win,” he predicted.
“There’s a big focus on defence so we will do plenty of it on Thursday.
“I’m expecting a big physical battle, Garth Brennan (Panthers coach) likes it to be really physical and get at the halves and the backs.
“We beat them once and they've beat us once, so it’s going to be grudge match.
"We know they have a big physical pack, so if we can match them up front, we know we can match it with the outside backs that we have here."
The return of experience head Clint Newton as well as Jake Mamo and Sam Mataora from the NRL will also inject confidence and strength in the side.
“It’s a big boost of confidence to get Mamo back at the back. He brings a lot of fire and electricity," Feeney said.
“As well as Newto (Newton), he brings a lot of experience and composure.
“He’s our captain so comes back with a lot of honour.
“With all the boys back, there’s a big boost of confidence around the team.”
The Knights take on Penrith 4pm this Sunday at Jubilee Oval.