Press conference: Jacob Saifiti on Round 11
nib Newcastle Knights forward Jacob Saifiti is determined to be a first grade regular for the rest of this year.
The young middle has played a few games in Reserve Grade this season, but admits he wants to put in the hard work and right attitude to be in the NRL 17 each week.
"Myself being in Reserve Grade last week and a few other weeks, I don't want to be back there anytime soon so for me I'm going to have to start performing," he said.
"The goal is to be playing first grade but coming back to first grade I just need to help lead the boys around and put in the best performance out there to get myself back in the team.
"If having another chance at that this weekend doesn't motivate me, I don't know what will."
Saifiti knows his consistency is key to staying at the top level.
"Bringing all these new players in, not everything just falls into place and in an interview with Daniel this week, he said it perfectly, it's just inconsistent footy and more of an attitude thing," Saifiti added.
"If we as players don't start performing, it's never going to work."
Following two losses at home, the Knights forward maintains as a team defence is what needs to be a focus against the Gold Coast Titans this weekend.
"Defence in general hasn't been as good as it should have been, so we're pretty lucky we have won our games in attack," he said.
"In the off-season we really tried to focus on it and it's on us as players, we just haven't been showing it in the last couple of weeks.
"The Titans named a pretty strong side this week and their middle is strong, but the focus is mainly on us.
And Saifiti says he considers himself more of a middle man these days, enjoying the transition from an edge player.
"That transition was hard, I was a bit light playing back row in my first year, but with my weight and all the weights I'm doing now, I'm definitely a middle and I don't think Browny (Nathan Brown) now even looks at me as a second rower," Saifiti stated.
"I think everything is in the middle for me from now on."
The young forward also admits he and his brother may need to show a bit more aggression in their game.
"I might have to take some anger pills," he laughed.
"We've got to transition that onto the field and this year we have taken a bit of a back step."
The 22-year-old has also welcomed the new signing of Melbourne Storm prop Tim Glasby and believes it will create more healthy competition in the middle.
"Obviously we have Tim next year, but they are still looking for more middles," Saifiti said.
"It puts more pressure to perform on us, so if we're performing like this, we'll be back playing local grade.
"The pressure placed on us to keep those spots is going to make us play better."