Next week's clash against Canterbury-Bankstown shapes as a season-defining game.

Having suffered losses to the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne, Saturday's June 30 game carries a lot of weight.

The players acknowledge the fact, this could make or break their season.

For the nib Newcastle Knights to play finals football, they need wins and fast.

While the representative round has allowed the players a break from training, both Josh King and Chris Heighington agree that next week shapes as a pivotal point of their season.

"Yeah, massive game for us, especially coming off of two losses," King said.

"If we want any hope of making that eight, we really need to dig our heels in, come out against the Dogs and put on a good performance to get a win."


"We've spoke about it already as a team.

"We've got a week off now to refresh a bit, relax a little bit, but definitely coming back in next week with a focus on taking it right to the Dogs at home."

Heighington shared the sentiment; "It's a big game.

"The game against the Bulldogs is definitely a big game at home which could put us back on track. Then we go into another bye and we should have a few guys back."

While the likes of Kalyn Ponga, Herman Ese'ese and Slade Griffin feature in the representative weekend, the players left in Club land have been given a lighter week at training.


King suspects that having a week off regular competition could be beneficial to the team as they attempt to attack Round 16 with a renewed focus.

"It'll be good for us with a few injuries and a few little niggles around the place, for all the boys to freshen up a bit and come out firing in the next game against the Bulldogs," he said.

Shaun Kenny-Dowall holds a similar attitude towards the break.

"They get another week to recover, hopefully we get a few guys back from injury and make a late charge in the back end of the season," he said.