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As the nib Newcastle Knights prepare to take on the Cronulla Sharks this weekend, prop Jack Stockwell says the key to victory will be nullifying the opposition’s array of forwards.

The Sharks have more than 1000 games of NRL experience up front, with the likes of Paul Gallen, Andrew Fifita, Matt Prior, Chris Heighington and more.

Their go-forward provides the platform for the club’s potent outside backs, and Stockwell said his focus will be on meeting the Sharks in the middle.

“They’re always a tough, competitive team,” Stockwell told Knights TV.

“They’ve got Matt Prior, Paul Gallen and Andrew Fifita up front, who like to offload and run hard.

“On the back of that the team plays good footy, so it’s just about nullifying them in the middle I think.”

While the Knights are coming off a bruising encounter against the Penrith Panthers, Stockwell says morale is still high as the team prepares to go again.

“It was a bad week for us, but it’s in the past now and we’re just trying to focus on playing consistent football going forward,” he said.

Training sessions this week have centred around defence, and Stockwell believes the points will come for the Knights if they can stay strong down the other end.

“The main focus is our defence,” he said.

“If we stop them from scoring points, we’ll be in the contest.

“If we don’t drop the ball and make those silly errors, we’ll be right in there.”