Milestone motivates Knights
While Newcastle Knight Trent Hodkinson has only worked with his halves partner Jarrod Mullen for a short amount of time, he has plenty of praise for the five-eighth who celebrates his 200th NRL game on Saturday at Hunter Stadium.
Hodkinson may well know Mullen better as an opponent than a teammate, but he's certain he and the team will be motivated greatly by the aim to achieve a positive result for his milestone match.
"He's always been a dangerous player, he's been a tremendous talent for a long time," he said.
"He has a great kicking game, passing game and is a great runner with the footy.
"He's a leader now as he's been at the Club for a long time.
"It was always a tough game going against Mullo and I think we clashed a couple of times on the same side of the field and he always had me under the pump.
"It's really good for him to first of all get to 200 games, but to do it one Club, it's a great achievement."
Hodkinson says the players are also buoyed by the fact they'll be running out at their home ground of the Hunter Stadium for the first time this season.
"We are in front of our home fans in our first home game, so we want to get out there and put a good performance on for the home fans, for Jarrod on his 200th game and just for the Club in general," he said.
Although Canberra carries the confidence of two season opening wins, Hodkinson says it will be a case of the Knights worrying about their own game plan, not that of the opposition's.
"First and foremost, it's about getting what we do right out there on the paddock the best way we can and we will go from there," he said.
Meanwhile, coach Nathan Brown confirmed young winger Cory Denniss will make his NRL debut on Saturday.
To celebrate Jarrod Mullen’s 200th NRL game, the Knights will hand out free special edition #Mullo200 try cards to the first 5000 people through the gate. Keep your eyes on the sky during the game for collectable #Mullo200 muscle tees that will be fired into the crowd.
Newcastle Knights v Canberra Raiders
Date: Saturday March 19
Gates open: 12.30pm
Reserve Grade: 2.40pm
Phone: 136 100
In Person: Any ticketmaster box office