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nib Newcastle Knights forward Jacob Lillyman admits what makes the Canberra Raiders forward pack so intimidating is their sheer size.

“They’ve got a number of guys over 120kg and that’s their style, they’ve got big physical players right across the park, so we’ve really got to aim up defensively,” said Lillyman.

Newcastle travel to the nation’s capital on Saturday to take on the Raiders Sunday night and will be using their one-point win against Manly as inspiration but will also look to improve in some key areas.

“There were some areas where we weren’t so good defensively against Manly, so we’ve got to improve there and be better in those tackle situations… try and do a job on them,” explained Lillyman.

“It was a great win no doubt and a tough win because we had to hang in there and grind it out, but in saying that there is still a lot of room for improvement.

“In our forward pack it wasn’t too bad of a start, but we’ll really be tested this week against a big Canberra pack and we’ll certainly have to aim up physically.”

The experienced forward is getting prepared for a tough physical encounter against Canberra’s big men.

“They come at you… they’re a physical challenge, but you’ve just got to play to your strengths,” Lillyman commented.

“We need to get some line speed, defend them on the line, not let them get on the front foot and a big thing is completing our sets.

“If you’re going set for set with them, that sort of dulls their impact and if you’re giving them easy ball, they’re a lot harder to handle so we’ve got to maintain good completion.”

The 34-year-old has also given praise to youngster Kalyn Ponga for his start to the season.

“He’s a good kid Kalyn, he’s all class,” smiled Lillyman.

“He’s mature beyond his years, has a great work ethic, great attitude and is a great addition to the squad.

“The talent is there for everyone to see but there’s got to be some patience, he’s coming into first grade full time and this is his first season, but there is a lot of potential there and we’re just glad to have him on our team.”