NYC Newcastle Knights captain Zac Hosking admits it was a quality team performance against the Cronulla Sharks on Sunday to make it into week one of the finals.
“The minor premiers had it wrapped up before the game so we just showed we wanted it more in our run to the semi-finals,” said Hosking.
With a short turnaround, focus has immediately been switched to the Under 20s qualifying final against the Brisbane Broncos on Friday.
The Knights last met the Broncos in Round 19 and they suffered a 28-point defeat, but Hosking believes it’s a clean slate.
“Even though we finished seventh overall, when you come to semi-finals, it’s a whole new competition,” explained Hosking.
“It was very motivating knocking off the top team like we did and it’s a good way to go into the finals.
“Brisbane touched us up a bit the first time we played them, they came out and wanted it more than we did.
“We know going into this game, it's going to be different and it’s about who turns up on the day.
“On that day, they did and hopefully this Friday it’s us who will be the ones to come out victorious.”
The number 13 maintains he’ll have a big job to do through the middle.
“Previously their middles were their strength,” he said.
“They have a nice big pack and we really need to match them on Friday.”
Hosking believes playing a consistent 80 minutes of football will be the key to advancing to the semi-finals.
“Midway through the season, Todd (Lowrie) actually pointed out to us our second 20 of the first half is one of the poorest of the competition so it was a bit of an eye opener,” Hosking stated.
“We have really tried to fix that up going into the second half of the season so the 80-minute performances are really important especially going into the finals.”
As captain, the young forward will be doing his best to keep his teammates on track.
“It is an honour being captain for this side; there is a lot of leaders in this team and we all try and lead by example and do the little things right,” commented Hosking.
“Hopefully the rest of the boys follow and it’s about being vocal and getting everyone on board.
“We have a good bunch of boys here and they make my role a bit easier.”
The NYC Knights take on the Broncos at Allianz Stadium in the qualifying finals on Friday, kick-off is 5.15pm. Fox Sports will broadcast the match.