If the Newcastle Knights are to match it with the size and stamina of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs pack on Saturday, the team will need to be its best according to experienced forward Mickey Paea.
Paea assured the Knights are resolute on lifting their defensive game after a tough lesson against the Manly Sea Eagles last weekend.
“We can’t afford to put in another shift like we did on Sunday, especially against the Bulldogs because they are a big pack," he said.
“I dare say they will be looking to come through the middle and challenge us.”
Journeyman Paea played 28 games for the Bulldogs during the 2010 and 2011 seasons and is likely to come up against a number of former teammates.
“There are a lot of players who are still there and were coming through at that time and who have gone on to establish themselves as regular first graders,” he said.
“It’s going to be a tough game on Saturday and we know where they are going to come, straight through the middle and we are up for the challenge.
“We won’t take a backwards step.”
The fact the team returns to Hunter Stadium is expected to provide the Knights’ with a timely lift.
“Our fans have been great,” he said.
“In what has been a tough year, they still show up and turn up in numbers.
“They even stay back behind the gams just to wish us well, so hopefully we can put in a good performance for them and give them something to cheer about.”
It's Women in League Round and the Knights have plenty planned to toast women in the game. Be at Hunter Stadium and experience the pamper zone and free giveaways!