Barnett excited to take on Taupau

Known for his aggression and determination, Mitch Barnett says he can't wait to take on one of the hardest forwards in the game in Martin Taupau this Friday.

Both players have been named at 13 for the Round 14 clash at Lottoland, and Barnett is looking forward to the opportunity to take on the New Zealand international.

“I think he has averaged 180 metres for the last five weeks,” Barnett said before the team travelled down to Sydney on Thursday afternoon.

“It's a massive test, he’s one of the most damaging ball runners in the game."

While Taupau has played 74 more NRL matches than Barnett, the Knights enforcer has shown in the past that he's never afraid to take on a big name.

“Taupau is currently in strong form, so it will be exciting to test myself against him... and not just myself but our whole team is going to have to be at their best to stop him.”

But Barnett knows it’s not just Taupau that the Knights have to keep an eye on.

“They have got (Tom) Trbojevic, who is very tough to beat,” stated Barnett.

“We are preparing for him to play... the news I’ve heard is that he is going to play, but we’ve also prepared for if he doesn’t.

The Knights forward feels defence will be the key to getting on the front foot.

“If we defend really well, our attack will just flow,” Barnett said.

“Your game builds on your defence and if we get there and defend well, attacking opportunities will come no matter if it's wet or not.

“Hopefully the rain can keep away otherwise we’ll have to shorten up the passes and play a bit smarter football.”

Barnett is keen to return to Manly’s home ground to put on a good show.

“I haven’t played there in a long time but from what I’ve heard it is a very heavy track.

"But I think we've prepared for it well."

The match kicks off at 6pm at Lottoland.