The Newcastle Knights aim for a strong week of preparation as they prepare to take on the New Zealand Warriors this Saturday afternoon.
After hitting the road to take on the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville last Saturday night, coach Nathan Brown knows how important recovery will be to the side.
“There a fair few people who are a little sore but they are recovering,” he said at Knights HQ on Tuesday.
“We had Parramatta (Monday night) and then a short turnaround into the Cowboys.
“We had the trip up there and it’s obviously a tough trip these days."
The two injury concerns out of the Round 13 match were hooker Danny Levi (concussion) and Nathan Ross (calf).
“Danny Levi is going through the normal concussion protocols, we are quite hopeful there," he said.
“Rossy has a slight strain he will probably be fairly doubtful this weekend.
“We are not 100 per cent sure on who is or is not going to be fit, so we will make more of a decision tomorrow or Friday."
Brown also advised there will still be some delay before a number of key players on the Club’s long injury list will take the field.
“We have a lot of guys who are probably pushing the boundaries to be ready this week, but with the bye coming up, we’re not going to risk anyone until they are 100 per cent,” he said.
“We want to get them back and keep them back."
Fortunately, Korbin Sims is set to return after a one-match suspension.
“He’d have to be close to coming straight back in. His last game was probably his best game since I’ve been at the Club,” Brown added.
Dominace through the middle will be important facing up to the equal 10th placed New Zealand Warriors who had a confidence building win over the Brisbane Broncos.
“I think we all know the Warriors, when they are playing well they are a very good side,” he said.
“They have plenty of flair and when they are physically on their game they are a very tough side."
The opposition’s most recent success saw the side overcome the Brisbane Broncos 36-18 at their home ground.
“They were very impressive the other day against a Brisbane side that is one of the best teams in the comp,” he said.
Paying extra attention to the Warriors’ good form, the Knights will draw on the lessons from their previous Cowboys game to combat another equally physically challenging opponent.
“All we can go off from our point of view is what they did last week and not what they did four weeks ago,” he said.
“With the big signings of (Roger Tuivasa) Sheck and Issac Luke to go with (Ben) Matulino and Shaun Johnson and the blokes who they have currently got there, they have probably brought extra pressure I suppose.”
Brown expects the Knights’ season to lift as the Club approaches the back end of the season which features plenty of scheduled home games at Hunter Stadium.
“I always thought the last seven or eight games would be the better part of the year for us,” he said.
“One because we knew a lot of the blokes who had longer term injuries were hopefully going to come back and get a few games under their belt for the back end of the year.
“We are at home which is a good spot to play, but especially when you are having a tough year.
“We’ve proven, apart from the Cronulla game, that our home game is pretty good.
“We are quite hopeful that if we can get some bodies back and can get a couple in and that get a squad that can play with a little bit of consistency with similar people around them, then we know we are confident."
Be at Hunter Stadium for the Newcastle Knights match against the New Zealand Warriors and support match day partner, the Mark Hughes Foundation, by wearing a beanie to the match. Click here to purchase your tickets.