The Newcastle Knights training sessions may have taken places in much different surroundings than the team is accustomed to this week, but it hasn’t impacted on the quality of preparation according to Newcastle Knight Dane Gagai.
The Knights have been on the road for a little under two weeks after travelling direct from New Zealand to Melbourne ahead of their Round 5 match against the Melbourne Storm on Saturday.
This week the Knights embraced cross-code collaboration training at the (AFL) Collingwood Football Club’s facilities in Melbourne.
“They have unbelievable facilities and we were fortunate enough for Collingwood to take us in and let us use the facilities,” Newcastle Knight Dane Gagai said.
“Training has been going well, so I guess we need to put it all into action on Saturday night."
Gagai believes the quality of preparation has been even more crucial this week as the Knights build to take on the NRL heavyweights at home.
“You expect a tough game as they are a well-drilled side,” he said.
“They don’t hand over wins very often.
“We need to do what the coaches are saying and do everything right.
“When there are any opportunities, we have to take them.”
While the Knights expect Storm’s halves to keep them on their toes, especially around the ruck, Gagai assures his team can match their finesse.
“I have full confidence in Mullo (Jarrod Mullen) and (Trent) Hokinson that they will be able to do the same thing,” he said.
“We’ll be ready for a physical game.”
Last weekend’s game proved a tough task for the Knights against the New Zealand Warriors, but the side opened the contest strongly. They hope to bring that same competitiveness, this time, for the entire game at AAMI Park.
“The second half was something that wasn’t too positive, but I think in the first half we were definitely in the game,” he said.
“One thing I felt was we gave a way too many penalties and errors that allowed them to get a hold of the game.
“When we were leading 12-6 I felt we had them under pressure and had the opportunity to run away with the game.
“We have done a bit of video and have gone through where we went wrong so this weekend we can tidy up those areas and play the footy that we can because.
“We need to put it together for 80 minutes.”
Gagai was also proud to make his own personal contribution to the game scoring his first try of the 2016 season.
“It was good to be able to get back on the board and was the try that put us 12-6 ahead.
“It’s a lot better when you score to come away with the win. Hopefully I score a few more times to help out the team, that’s definitely my goal.”