Saifiti seeing self-improvement
nib Newcastle Knights forward Daniel Saifiti was awarded Players’ Player for the fifth time this season and earned praise from coach Nathan Brown for his performance alongside brother Jacob in Saturday's win over the St George Illawarra Dragons.
The 21-year-old impressed with 153 metres in 47 minutes on the field.
“It's my job,” he smiled.
“Physically I am starting to get better; I’ve had almost 40 games and that helps but everyone is getting that experience and knowing what to do now to get a win.”
The young forward said playing alongside his twin Jacob has a positive effect on his own game.
“Having Jacob get close to 200 metres, we are playing off the back of each other so that helps,” Saifiti commented.
“I thought he was close to being one of the best players on the field so having him make runs like that inspires me.”
While wins have been few and far between for the Saifiti brother, he relished that winning feeling from the weekend.
“It was unreal and I wasn’t expecting that big of a crowd,” Saifiti added.
“To get a win in front of them and the way we did it, we toughed it out and I don’t think we’ve done that the last couple of years.
“It just showed how much we’ve improved over the period of time.
“We were good as a team to get back there and we had good cover in defence especially from (Nathan) Rossy with a couple of try savers.”
Saifiti admits it doesn’t matter how they win, as long as they get the points.
“We won ugly,” said Saifiti.
“The previous weeks against (Sydney) Roosters, (Brisbane) Broncos and (Canterbury-Bankstown) Bulldogs, we lost pretty.
The Knights remain at home to take on the New Zealand Warriors this Saturday and Saifiti expects another tough battle.
“They are skilful and they probably have the best spine in the comp or close to it, up there with the (Melbourne) Storm,” stated Saifiti.
Meanwhile, Saifiti admits while his focus is on the Knights, the World Cup is at the back of his mind.
“We (Jacob and I) would love to play there,” he said.
“We would get to experience playing against good teams like Australia, New Zealand and England.
“I have never played those teams so it would be good for development as players.
“At the moment though, we’ve got five games left and we’ll hopefully finish off them strong and get a few wins for the fans.”
Footy action is back at McDonald Jones Stadium this Saturday for the Knights third last home game. NYC kick off at 12.45pm before NRL at 3pm.