The forward battle
Forward Sione Mata’utia expects to push his body to its limits this Saturday, as the nib Newcastle Knights prepare to host the South Sydney Rabbitohs at McDonald Jones Stadium.
“Playing in the forward pack is a whole different world and you need to try and get used to it as quick as you can because you can be up for sore weeks to come,” explained Mata’utia.
“I played against the Rabbitohs forward pack last year, they’re obviously a big pack.
“They have the Burgess boys and young (Zane) Musgrove is coming through, he is a really good player.
"The Rabbitohs have a good game up the middle so I think that’s where the game is going to be won this week.
“It’s daunting but I love the challenge up front, those boys have a lot of experience and I think I’m learning at the same time coming up against them.”
But the youngest of the Mata’utia brothers believes the red and blue have got the strength up front to match the bunnies.
“The Rabbitohs are missing some key players but still have a big pack, we’re not going to take them any differently,” said Mata’utia.
“I think we’re aware of what they can do but the boys are definitely going to aim up, with the young boys up front (Daniel) Saifiti and the old head of (Josh) Starling, they are definitely going to have a good game and match it with the boys.
“This week we will go into the game thinking we can win and hopefully we can come out with the double.”
The 20-year-old encouragses Knights fans to come out this weekend and show their support.
“Hopefully we can get a few more to get us across the line because they were definitely behind us last game,” Mata'utia added.
“It will lift the confidence of myself and the team.”
All three grades are in action at McDonald Jones Stadium this Saturday, NYC kicks off at 12.15pm before Reserve grade at 2.10pm and NRL at 4.30pm.