Saifiti shouldered the load in return from injury

Last weekend’s trial match against the Parramatta Eels was the first game back for forward Daniel Saifiti since shoulder surgery in the off-season.

The big forward was comfortable with the way his shoulder held up on Saturday, and says it was other things he was more concerned about during the match.

“I was thinking more about my gas and my energy,” Saifiti told Knights TV on Tuesday.

“My gas wasn’t too bad, I lasted longer than I thought, but I’ve got a lot of things to improve on before selection.”

Saifiti admits the 26-6 loss to the Eels served as a reality check.

“We’ve definitely got a strong squad here, but we didn’t play like it,” he said.

“It’s only a trial match... but we can improve for Round 1 against Manly.”

The 21-year-old pinpointed defence as an area that needed to see improvement in the ten days left before season kick-off.

“We know what to do in attack, we’ve got strong attacking players, so that will come later on but we’ll sit down over the next week, see what we did wrong and go from there,” Saifiti commented.

“The Eels forwards were really strong, and they put points on us pretty easily... they were top four last season for a reason.

“I want to concentrate around my defence, my ruck and my wrestle and it wasn’t too good on the weekend.

“It's something I definitely need to improve if I want to be in the team... there are other things in attack as well but mainly defence.”

This week the squad heads to Port Stephens for a training camp.

Saifiti said he’s looking forward to the change of scenery.

“It will be good to get away with the boys and get away from Newcastle for a bit,” said Saifiti.

“We’re training up there, doing some things off the field including our talking, so it should be good for us mentally and physically.”