Danny Levi Competition - NRL Premiership Round - Round 03 Teams - Newcastle Knights V Canberra Raiders - 19th of March 2016 Venue - Hunter Stadium, Broadmeadow, Newcastle NSW Photographer - Paul Barkley

Knights to replicate defensive effort

Newcastle Knights hooker Danny Levi says the side will look to reproduce the same defensive effort when they head to Townsville to take on competition heavyweights, the North Queensland Cowboys on Saturday. 

Levi felt the Knights set a new benchmark in defence on Monday against the Parramatta Eels by limiting the side’s attacking prowess, especially through the middle. 

“It was a big improvement,” he said on Tuesday. 

“The boys fought really hard and I thought our defence was one of our best for the year.

"We were taking them over the sideline and on first tackle was taking them back into goal. It just shows how much hungrier we are.

“We are trying to improve each week and thought that was a good stepping stone for us.” 

While the Knights were ahead on the scoreboard leading into into the break, lapses in concentration saw the opposition fire back in the second half. 

“It is disappointing. There were a few missed opportunities,” Levi said.

“Us switching off is what really cost us. 

“The good players in the other teams, they will spot that.” 

With that lesson fresh in their minds, the Knights prepare for one of the biggest opponents of the year, the Cowboys in Townsville, a test young Levi is eager to take head on.   

“It’s a big challenge of course. They have plenty of experience and great players,” he said. 

"We get to go up against some of the best players in footy.

“All the boys will be up for it. It’s a good chance for us young guys to really show what we can do.” 

With the prospect of utility Tyler Randell stepping into the role of five-eighth due to a number of injuries within the team, Levi readies himself for a possible 80-minute effort on Saturday. 

“I have a lot of improvement to do so I have to make sure I step it up as well," he said when asked if he was prepared for the challenge.

“Whatever happens, if I’m out there for as long as I can, I have to do my best out there.” 

He also views coming up against one of the game’s most competitive number nines in Jake Granville as an incredible opportunity to learn. 

“He’s pretty dynamic out of hooker and is quick,” he said. 

“He has good deception so will be a good challenge for us. 

“He is pretty quick out of hooker so you can’t give him too many opportunities to get out of there. We have to keep an eye on him.”