Strong start key says Hodkinson

The Newcastle Knights intend to start Saturday's match with plenty of intensity in order to overcome the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium. 

“First and foremost we have to start the match on a high and build some pressure and put some pressure back on the opposition,” Trent Hodkinson said on Friday following the team’s final training run. 

Sitting in a similar position this season, a Round 10 win is considered vital for both teams. 

“The Roosters are a quality side. They just haven’t been getting the wins on the board,” he said.

Hodkinson speculates the return of a number of of key personnel to the side will inject confidence in the team, but is certain the Knights are ready for the challenge.

“There are a couple of key players (returning) in (Mitchell) Pearce and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and (Boyd) Cordner last week as well.

“It’s going to be a tough match for us.

“I think they will be ready to go. I’m good mates with (Mitchell) Pearcy and he wouldn’t have enjoyed his time out and would be raring to go, same with Hargreaves I’d say.

“He’s been out for a while but especially with where their team is on the ladder, they’ll be ready to fire and hopefully get that win but we will try our best to stop them."

While both teams are eager to avoid the dreaded last place on the table, it’s not something the Knights playing squad has dwelled on in the lead up to the match.

“It hasn’t been touched on one bit,” he said. 

“We know where we went wrong last week and where we have to improve. We’ve focused on getting ourselves right rather than think too much on the Roosters,” he said. 

The team travelled with an extended squad to Sydney on Friday afternoon ahead of Saturday’s match at Allianz Stadium.