Knights building for Tigers
Newcastle Knights five-eighth Jarrod Mullen says the side will be focused on limiting the Wests Tigers' opportunities when the sides meet at Hunter Stadium this Sunday.
“They have a lot of good attacking players. Anytime you give any team a lot of field position or ball on your try line, they are going to come up with some points,” he said after training on Thursday.
“They have some good young halves to steer them around and are playing some good attacking footy there.
“You can’t really stop them, you have to limit their opportunities to attack."
The Knights go into the match against the Tigers with confidence after a solid performance against the Storm last weekend.
“There was a very improved performance down in Melbourne,” he said.
“It was a bit shattering the way we were beaten. The effort we put in was tremendous.
“We had them rattled there for a fair bit of the game but we had a couple of those tackle four penalties coming out of their end.
“If we pick that up and be a bit more disciplined when they are coming out of their end and keep building pressure, it will go a long way to winning the games.”
Mullen believes coach Nathan Brown knows the side is on the right track despite a challenging start to the season.
“He can’t fault our effort, it’s just our execution and discipline on a few plays let us down and it’s something we want to fix up for this weekend,” he said.
“The way we competed on the weekend and the ground we made it’s (part of our) culture and what we want to stand for.
“Playing 15 players with pretty much 75 minutes of the game was a tremendous effort."
Now six weeks into the season, Mullen feels his partnership with new halfback Trent Hodkinson is strengthening each game.
“It’s good and is building every week,” he said.
“I’m getting more confidence out there in the way I want to play.
"The boys around us are getting a lot more confidence in me and Hokko (Hodkinson) to steer the team around.”
After two rounds playing away from home, the Knights are keen to perform on home turf.
“The only game we have had at Hunter Stadium was a big performance to come back,” he said,
“We didn’t get the chocolates, we had a draw, so it would be good to get a win for our home fans.
“Especially coming off last week, anytime the fans are out there with that Newcastle chant."
The Knights will also be buoyed by the return of forward Tariq Sims.
“He adds plenty of energy," Mullen said.
“He trained very well today. It’s good to see him out there. I’ll be defending next to him and he has a lot of chatter that helps my game.
“It will be good to play with him this week and is definitely ready to go and excited.”
Meanwhile, Robbie Rochow was injured at training today. More details HERE.