Coming up against last year’s premiership winning team, the North Queensland Cowboys, does not daunt young Newcastle Knight Daniel Saifiti.
The 193cm forward knows it’s going to be a colossal challenge, but can’t wait to test himself against some of the biggest names in the game.
“They won the comp last year, so coming up against these guys, it’s a different feel all together,” he said ahead of Saturday’s match in Townsville.
“It’s going to be a tough task.”
He believes a positive result for the Knights will come down to the side approaching the game with the right attitude.
“I think on (Monday), and we showed glimpses of it against the Tigers, we had the mentality we wanted to go through them,” he said.
“If we do that again this weekend we might go close.
“I think we have to get in front of them and stop them somehow.
“When we get the ball we have to get momentum and roll through them.
“It’s going to be tough but I think that’s what we’re going to have to do to get close to them.”
The fact a number of Cowboys’ players will feature in the first game of the State of Origin on Wednesday night won’t disadvantage the opposition according to Saifiti.
“Either way they have good forwards with or without them,” he said.
“They are playing Origin this week, and even though they might be bruised and battered, they are definitely still going to be a challenge.
Matching up against props Matt Scott and James Tamou is something he sees will help him become a tougher player.
“To play them would be good personally coming up against two front rowers,” he said.
“I’m not going to complain if they’re not three.”
Saifiti has emerged as one of the Knights’ most consistent and hard working forwards and says he’s determined to back up recent good form this weekend.
“My preparation has been good and I was happy with my performance on the weekend,’ he said.
“I hope to build on it this weekend as well.
“I try to at least have a carry a set.
“The last two weeks I’ve made it a goal of mine to have at least 10.”
The 20-year-old was proud to gain the attention and praise of former Newcastle Knight Beau Scott who made mention of his talent following Monday’s game.
“It is good to hear that, he played Origin last year and is a well-respected player,” he said.
“To get a rap off him is unreal and looks like I’m going in the right direction.”