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Kostjasyn prepared for monster challenge against Mounties

Mounties v Newcastle Knights

Date: Saturday, June 2
Location: Aubrey Keech Reserve
Time: 3pm


Nick Meaney, 2. Tom Hughes, 3. Matt Allwood, 4. Brent Naden, 5. Toa Mata'afa, 6. Christian Hazard, 7. Hayden Loughrey, 8. Tyrone Amey, 9. Chris Randall, 10. Bobby Treacy, 11. Beau Fermor, 12. Brodie Jones, 13. Luke Yates. Interchange: 14. Tom Starling, 15. Pasami Saulo, 16. Pat Mata'utia, 17. Zac Hosking, 18. Tori Freeman-Quay, 19. Faitotoa Faitotoa

Newcastle Knights ISP coach Rory Kostjasyn is prepared for his biggest challenge since taking the clipboard over from Simon Woolford.

Mounties have named a team flush with NRL experience for Saturday's clash at Aubrey Keech Reserve.

The feeder team for Canberra, Mounties sit second on the table and pose defensive threats across the park.

"There's a lot of guys who have played a lot of first grade," Kostjasyn said.

"Canberra have the bye this week, so they have a really strong side, especially through their spine.

"(Craig) Garvey, (Sam) Williams, Ata Hingano and Brad Abbey at the back. They're all very dangerous and they have a big and experienced forward pack to play off the back of.

"For us, defensively – our ability to control the ruck will hopefully limit the time and space the spine has.

"It's probably the hardest challenge we've faced since I've taken over (coaching)."

Kurt's Call: Regaining confidence and Origin memories

In a boost for the Knights, Nick Meaney lines-up for his second game from injury as he pushes his case for an NRL debut.

Earlier this week, nib Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown hinted that Meaney isn't far off a start in the top grade which should do his confidence a world of good, but in the short-term his focus will be on Mounties.

"Means (Meaney) had a fairly strong hit-out last week," Kostjasyn said.

"It was his first game back after 10 weeks out.

"We're looking for him to be stronger again this week."

It's not just the fullback which has Kostjasyn excited.

Two of his better performers against the Dragons last week came from the Jersey Flegg side and he's eager to see if they can back-up their efforts.

"I'm looking forward to seeing our younger guys go around again," he said.

"Hayden Loughrey and Beau Fremor were strong last week coming up from the 20s.

"Hayden's a strong runner of the footy and good supporter.

"Tom Starling was also strong last week after a week off with concussion. I'm hoping he puts in another good performance."