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If the weekend’s dominating display against the Penrith Panthers is anything to go by, coach Matt Lantry thinks the NSW Cup Newcastle Knights will head into Sunday’s preliminary final against the Mounties firing on all cylinders.

The Knights achieved another convincing win in week two of the finals with a triumph over reigning premiers the Penrith Panthers which takes the side an important step closer to the grand final.

Lantry was expectedly pleased with the Knights’ resounding win as well as the energy and effort shown by the team as it launches into the business end of the season.

“It was a pleasing victory but a bit of a scratchy start there,” Lantry said on Monday. 

“Both sides struggles with some fluency in attack.

“We had a 10-6 lead at half time then changed a few things that we needed to address.”

The Knights came into their own in the second stanza piling on points which eventuated in the 44-12 score line.

“We knew our errors throughout the first half were due to the fact that we got away from what had worked for us, in going nice and direct in previous weeks,” he said.

“It was just a little bit of a lack of execution and timing was there.

“We addressed those things and were really positive and knew that if we could maintain our 50/50 split in possession that things might go our way.”

Much of the Knights impetus in the second half stemmed from power provided from the Knights’ four-man interchange.

“Credit to our bench, I thought they were outstanding yesterday,” he said.

“Particularly with the start of the second half, we were a major contributor towards getting us going forward.

“They were pulling Penrith’s defensive line apart and had some really good tries."

The return of a number of players from the NRL delivered timely vigor with Jake Mamo making considerable impact playing in the number one jersey.

“Jake was great, he scored three tries and set a couple up as well,” he said.

“He’s just a freak of a talent. The pleasing thing and what’s encouraging to see him do is just do everything at 100 per cent.

“There’s no half heartedness with him. It’s 100 mile an hour whether it’s a kick return or on the back of a an attacking play

“He’s hard to handle and the guys certainly enjoy playing with him.”

Despite a number of late changes to the Knights’ lineup due to injury and illness, Lantry said the players remained unfazed and seem to have hit their straps at the optimum time of the season.

“We are comfortable with the squad we’ve got,” he said.

“We’ve always spoken about the fact we’re a squad not a team.

“When you use 50 players throughout the year you have to be a squad.

“We lost Jaelen Feeney late due to an illness and to have someone as experienced as George Ndaira to jump into the halves and get a job done there.

“We were still confident.”

While content with the progress of late, Lantry recognises the challenge of a solid Mounties outfit.

“Mounties are a tough opposition,” he said.

“They beat the Warriors in week one of the semis fairly convincingly.

“They have some quality players across the park in particular some real NRL experience there in their halves with (Josh) McCrone, (Mitch) Cornish and (Mitch) Barnett in the back row who’s just recently debuted, along with the former Novocastrian in Joel Edwards as well.

‘They will be a tough opposition and tough in the middle and some decent outside backs.

Lantry said the Knights will look to replicate the same attitude at training as the squad prepares for Sunday’s big match at Leichardt Oval.

“I think we’ll keep the same theme and have really just taken it week to week. We haven’t taken it too far ahead,” he said.

“I think the biggest thing for us has been the enjoyment factor.

“We’ve been staying relaxed and enjoying each other’s company and challenging each other at training.

“Things will be a bit shorter and sharper this week in making sure we’re fresh and ready to go come Sunday.”

The NSW Cup Knights face the Mounties on Sunday September 20 at Leichhardt Oval at 3.10pm.