Despite the chase for their second NRL win this season, the captain of the nib Newcastle Knights Trent Hodkinson says they’re full of confidence.
“We are taking it right to the end with good sides, other than that Penrith game, we’ve been one try away from winning the game,” Hodkinson explained.
“Confidence is high… it is another big test for us this week and we’re looking forward to it.”
That test is against the Sydney Roosters, which are sitting fourth on the ladder.
“They are a big pack, a mobile pack and have some speedy outside backs,” said Hodkinson.
“It is going to be a good test for us back at home.
“Obviously with (Dylan) Napa out but (Jared) Waerea-Hargreaves, Boyd Cordner, a lot of rep players in that pack, it’s going to be a tough ask but I’ve got all the confidence in our backs to come over them.
“It is aggressive so we look forward to it.”
The skipper believes the strategy to beat the Roosters is to control it in the middle and apply pressure from the inside.
“The best way we do that is controlling the ruck speed, working hard on our defence,” commented Hodkinson.
“We need to slow their big mobile pack down and hopefully that makes it a bit easier on the edges.”
Hodkinson said he is pleased with the progression of the side’s forwards.
“I think our forwards, barring that Penrith game, have held their own well,” he said.
“It is a young pack but we’ve improved leaps and bounds from last year and I’m really enjoying playing behind them at the moment.
“I have all the confidence in the pack to give it to the boys on the weekend, all year they been quite dominant and hopefully they can be dominant again and we can work off that.”
His praise also extending to the outside backs who put on a show last week.
“(Dane) Gagai had his best year for the Club this year so we know what a talent he is and (Nathan) Rossy, Pete Mata’utia on the other side, Ken Sio, we’ve got a lot of talent there,” explained Hodkinson.
“We have got to focus on going up the middle and pick our times when we go out to the edge.
“Especially this week they’ve got some good catchers out on the edge so again we need to put pressure on the halves and take away the time.”
Not doubting their second win for the season will be right around the corner.
“I don’t think we’re too far away at being there but the confidence is growing every week,” added Hodkinson.
“We are still learning as a side, key periods of the game just before half time and just after half time, they’re the ones we really need to focus on so hopefully we can get that down pat and get a win at home.”
Footy action is back at McDonald Jones Stadium on Good Friday, NRL kick-off is at 6pm.