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Saifiti says shutting down Widdop is key

Press conference: Daniel Saifiti on Round 4

Knights TV spoke to Daniel Saifiti coming up to this Sunday’s clash against the St George Illawarra Dragons in Wollongong.

Saifiti has been impressed by the performance of the Dragons thus far and admits that it will be a big test for the team come Sunday.

“They are one of the best packs in the competition, it’ll be a tougher task for us in the middle but it’s one we are looking forward to. They’re undefeated and have been playing good footy, I watched a bit of their game on the weekend against the Titans and they looked dominant.”

The 21-year-old prop identified Dragons playmaker Gareth Widdop as one of the main threats, saying that the Knights will be looking to shut him down.

“He (Widdop) is a fast guy with footwork…he came off a pretty good World Cup campaign and he is part of the reason as to why they are doing so good. If we want to win the game he is definitely a player we need to shut down.”

Saifiti stated that he is looking to improve his defensive work after last week’s match against the Roosters, but the team still has some confidence coming off two wins against Manly and Canberra.

“Defence wins you games, it’s the biggest part of the game.  It’s something we definitely need to improve on, we leaked nearly 40 points last week and there is no way if we defend like that we will beat the Dragons.

“We’ve definitely still got some confidence as Manly and Canberra are two very good sides …we know that when we play for 80 minutes and put a good effort in we can beat some quality sides.”

The prop said he’s looking forward to spending some time in the front row with his brother, as he believes the strong chemistry between them helps them on and off the field.

“We both play better together, we’re talking to each other and it’s more enjoyable.”

It will be the Saifitis’ first time travelling down to Wollongong in an NRL side, but Daniel has spoken of playing there in his teens.

He said that whilst the crowd is incredibly vocal, he is looking forward to the challenge and hoping to bring home the Alex McKinnon Cup for a fellow Knight.

“I’ve never played there in NRL but I did play there in the Harold Matthews Cup when I was 16.

“Dragons fans are vocal that’s for sure, but I don’t mind playing in front of them. Hopefully Wollongong gets a good crowd there.

“Alex was a great player for both clubs and it was devastating what happened to him. Hopefully we can get the win for him.”