They may be coming off back-to-back losses, but nib Newcastle Knights forward Josh Starling knows the St George Illawarra Dragons will hit back hard this Sunday.
“They are a really good disciplined team and are a hard-hitting team,” stated Starling.
“They are based in a town like we are, hard working class people, so they’re going to have a real tough approach and will be very physical.”
Starling will come up against the likes of Paul Vaughan, who is playing his 100th career game, in a sizable forward pack.
“A big physical pack,” explained Starling.
“We're not sure if (Tyson) Frizell is going to play after Origin, but no matter who they have in the squad, they train with them every day and there’ll be another big body to come in there.”
The 26-year-old believes the Knights underdog status is always an advantage.
“We are an underdog every team we play so we’re ready to go and we know we’re looking forward to a big clash,” said Starling.
After an impressive performance for Queensland in Origin II on Wednesday night with a double in the second half, Starling wants to see teammate Dane Gagai back up with another solid game.
“He always plays well,” commented Starling.
“It is on a big platform and playing for your state would be a massive thing and that is what everyone strives for as a kid.
“He is a professional athlete so he’ll back up, he will be fine and we’re looking forward to playing with him.”
But a die-hard New South Wales fans, Starling admits he’s not that keen to see Gagai playing too well for the Maroons.
“It is not bittersweet at all, I wish he didn’t score any and they got flogged by 50,” Starling laughed.
All three grades are in action this Sunday at Kogarah.
NYC kick off at 9.45am before Reserve Grade at 11.45am and NRL action at 2pm.