Competition - NRL Premiership Round. Round - Round 19. Teams - Newcastle Knights v Melbourne Storm. Date - 17th of July 2016. Venue - Hunter Stadium, Broadmeadow NSW. Photographer - Paul Barkley.

Knights set standards

Newcastle Knights’ veteran forward Jeremy Smith says the Knights have set a standard the team looks to uphold when they face the Cronulla Sharks on Sunday.

“It’s up to us to get our processes right. We have set the standard now,” he said on Tuesday. 

“From the Raiders game I thought we were a bit unlucky there and even on the weekend we tossed out a fairly good performance. 

“We are setting standards and we just have to meet those standards to be consistently good."

The experienced dual-international gave his opinion on what the team needs to work on in the final games of the season.   

“It’s being able to play for long periods and being able to shut games down when we need to,” Smith said. 

“That just comes with experience.”

Meanwhile he remained upbeat despite the loss of Robbie Rochow (pec) and Sione Mata’utia (jaw) due to injury following Sunday’s Storm clash.   

“Robbie is a massive loss,” the co-captain said. 

“He brings energy in the middle and he talks which makes life a whole lot easier when you’re in the middle. 

“Sione has been outstanding since he’s moved to the back row, so he’ll be sorely missed.

“Everyone is pretty good spirits. I think we have been playing pretty fair footy.

“To lose those two, it gives someone else an opportunity to step up and stake their claim for a spot.”

The Knights take on the ladder-leading Sharks this Sunday at Shark Park but return to Newcastle in Round 22 to kick off four games in a row on home turf.