Knights gain confidence boost
Head coach Nathan Brown expects the Newcastle Knights to benefit from a confidence boost after an improved team performance against the Canberra Raiders on Saturday.
The side returned to the training field on Tuesday in preparation for their Round 4 match against the New Zealand Warriors following the hard fought 24-24 draw which entered golden point time at Hunter Stadium.
“Hopefully a lot of guys got what sort of process it takes to build pressure and win games,” Brown said on Tuesday.
“You would hope that as a group, not only our young ones but some of our older ones as well, we got some parts of the game that helped us get some field position.
“Our ball control and kick chase and discipline on the back of that was far better.
“If we learn that and get that right on a consistent basis, it will make life easier for ourselves.
“It won’t guarantee us anymore wins but will give us a better chance.”
After Saturday’s taxing effort, the Knights returned to a low intensity field session to assist in the players’ recuperation.
“We have a fair few blokes who have played 90 minutes,” he said.
“We still get three days to prepare and the guys are doing plenty of individual work, so are still getting a lot out of the day.”
Brown provided an overview on the injury status of a number of players with Jake Mamo (ankle) and Akuila Uate (chest joint) expected to make their return in the coming weeks.
More information on the expected return of forwards Daniel Saifiti and Jack Stockwell will come later this week.
“It will depend on the fitness of a lot of people,” he said about the make-up of the team.
“We’ll be very hopeful Stocky (Jack Stockwell) will play this week.
“Hopefully on Thursday we’ll get a clearer indication.
“It’s been a tough start for everyone and there are a few sides out there that have blokes who are wounded at the moment and we’re in that category at the minute."
The Knights depart for Auckland on Saturday for the Easter Monday game before flying direct to Melbourne to prepare for their Round 5 encounter at AAMI Park on April 2.
With both the Knights and Warriors yet to record a win, Brown predicts a spirited match at Mt Smart Stadium this Monday.
He also believes the Knights approach the game sitting in a much better position than the side’s earlier rounds.
“We are a very young side and have to prepare the best we can to play and I’m sure the Warriors will look at our squad and fancy themselves,” he said.
“It’s early days for the Warriors and early days for us. Every week is a hard week for us and we have to prepare to give ourselves a chance.
“It was a good week last week and we need to build on it.”