Defence the focus

After a short turnaround, the nib Newcastle Knights have finalised preparations ahead of meeting the Penrith Panthers at Pepper Stadium on Friday.

Young forward Sam Stone said the team has trained well this week, with a focus on eliminating the crucial errors made in last week’s loss.

"We had a look at that in video and we’re just trying to control when and where we make those errors and how we can combat the Panthers’ attack,” Stone told Knights TV.

“Penrith throw the ball around a bit, so we’re focused on that.”

Defence will ultimately be a priority on Friday night.

“We’re going to have to work hard to defend against Penrith,” commented Stone.

“Also the biggest thing for our attack is controlling the ball and completing our sets.

“I think if we can shut down their halves, we’re going to make it a lot easier for ourselves and put some pressure on their halves and try and to shut them down.”

Stone maintains the battle of the halves will be the one to watch.

“I know Brock (Lamb) and Nathan (Cleary) have fought over a few representative honours growing up…. I was playing with them, they’re not too bad mates and it will be a good match up,” explained Stone.

Now playing top footy, the 19-year-old is seemingly relishing his introduction into the NRL.

“I think I’ve transitioned well into the NRL but improvement is always needed and I’m working hard to improve each week,” he said.