Lillyman calls for improved defence

nib Newcastle Knights forward Jacob Lillyman is certain the team can make it three from three this weekend against the Sydney Roosters, but is adamant defensive efforts need to be up to scratch.

“We started the season well but the Roosters are a really good side and they’re going to challenge us right across the board, so we certainly need some improvement there,” Lillyman explained.

“I think we’ve taken a lot out of the first two weeks… there’s certainly been a lot to like but in saying that there is still a lot of improvement especially defensively.

“Against a quality attacking side, we’re going to have to step it up another level.”

Lillyman admits last week’s high penalty count in the second half was one concern highlighted as they prepared for their Round 3 clash.

“We probably need a bit of discipline in that area,” said the 34-year-old.

“We did highlight a few things this week... leg tackles and holding onto the legs a little bit too long, so I think a bit more discipline will serve us well.”

And with a bunch of former Roosters now in the red and blue, Lillyman said there’s been a few tips on what to expect come Sunday.

“They’ve certainly helped a little bit, but you’ve still got to have your wits about you right across the park,” added Lillyman.

“They’ve got strike power so it’s certainly going to be a tough assignment.

“I think those guys are excited for the game, but at the end of the day you can’t approach it too differently, it’s still a big game for everyone.

“Hopefully we can make it a bit more special for those guys but we’re under no illusions, it’s going to be a very tough game.”

The Knights travel down to Sydney on Saturday to take on the Roosters with a 6.30pm kick-off on Sunday at Allianz Stadium.