Last time the nib Newcastle Knights met the New Zealand Warriors was in Round 1 and for young forward Luke Yates, it was his NRL debut.
“I just had too much adrenalin running through me in that first game,” Yates smiled.
“I wasn’t even thinking straight, I was just trying to give 100 per cent.
“I took a lot out of that game and I’ll be a lot with better with my performance this weekend.”
Yates believes he has come a long way since then.
“At the start of the year I wasn’t playing many minutes, they let me adapt, but I think I’m coming to grips with the physicality of the game and being able to play longer minutes,” he stated.
“I played a full season of reggies (Reserve Grade) last year and the physicality of that is pretty solid but once you get up here and the speed changes, it is a different level.”
The Knights will be going for back-to-backs wins at home this Saturday, which would be an NRL first for Yates.
“It would be massive,” Yates commented.
“We are looking to win every game but getting the opportunity to do that and especially at home, it’s a massive deal for us.
“Everyone was a lot more positive at training this week, the video session was a bit better and everyone’s energy was up, so we’re looking forward to it.”
Yates admits there’s obvious danger men but the Warriors have an all round solid outfit.
“They are a solid team but I’m looking forward to trying to get back one on them,” added Yates.
“They have been pretty inconsistent as well as us this year so I think it is anyone’s game.
“(Roger) Tuivasa-Sheck is a real danger and Issac Luke. Shaun Johnson is not playing; he’s a really dominant player.
“There is also a couple of big lads there as well, everyone is dangerous.”
The 21-year-old acknowledged he is well prepared for the clash, which he predicts will see another massive crowd.
“We are coming last and we got 15 and a half thousand people there last week so it shows the support of the community and it is a really good feeling," he concluded.
Two grades are in action at McDonald Jones Stadium this week, Reserve Grade have a bye. NYC kick-off against the Warriors at 12.45pm before NRL at 3pm in Retro Round.