Starling: Completion is the key
nib Newcastle Knights forward Josh Starling says the key to getting on the front foot against a formidable Melbourne Storm is a solid completion rate.
“They are a good team that will grind you out, kick and chase and get you when you’re not ready,” stated Starling.
“The key for us is completing and not letting them have the ball as much.
“They are a great team defensively and their wrestle is really good.
“They have a lot of big middle players so that’s what we’ve got to be in the middle, really strong.”
While the Knights only average 45 per cent possession per game in 2017, the Storm aren't far ahead on 47 per cent.
With a good record against the Storm, winning three of their last six encounters, Starling admits it’s a confidence booster.
“There is some confidence from the younger team playing them last year when they had less experience,” he said.
“We do have a lot of confidence and we should have every week because every game we play to win.”
The 26-year-old admits more wins on the board this season is a must.
“The season is going to get away from us and like I said to the boys, you don’t want to be last again because that’s not a place we want this Club to be,” Starling said.
“We want to start pushing forward and pushing towards that top eight.”
Despite missing the Round 11 clash against the Penrith Panthers with a niggling wrist injury, Starling said he is ready to get back out on the field.
“I ust tore a ligament in the wrist but it has been a lot better, the physio has been doing some overtime on me and I’ll just put the guard on and I’m ready to go,” explained Starling.
“It feels good, I had the week off with the bye and then I missed the Panthers game so I’ve had a few weeks off to get ready.
“The timing has been perfect; we have a bye in another couple of weeks to let the body rest again.”
Meanwhile as a devoted Blues supporter, Starling said he was pumped to watch New South Wales topple the Queenslanders in Wednesday night’s Origin opener at Brisbane.
“I'm not too fussed on Gags (Dane Gagai) playing for the Maroons, but as long as the Blues win I’m pretty happy,” Starling laughed.
“He shows he is a world class player and it was good to see him have a good run last night.”
The Knights forward has no doubt he’ll be able to back up along with the Storm’s key players.
“They have played 30 or 40 Origins between them and have backed up pretty much every year, said Starling.
“They are a professional outfit and that is the reason they are so good.
“I have never played Origin before but usually two days after the game is when you get most sore but they’ll be doing all the right things, they’re professional athletes and they’ve been around a long time.”