Herman Ese’ese will be let loose on Penrith this Saturday evening.
According to nib Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown, the 24-year-old is the ‘prototype middle forward’.
A New Zealand international, Ese’ese returns to the first-grade side in place of Daniel Saifiti who inured his foot and knee in the opening round victory over Cronulla.
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When Brown was asked of how many minutes Ese’ese can expect to see, the coach said he’ll let the big man determine that.
“He’ll go until he needs to come off,” Brown said.
“Herman has had a really good pre-season… we’re hopeful he’ll have a very good impact for our team.
“He’s a prototype middle forward. He’s got great leg speed.
“He’s a player we've got a lot of confidence in. He’ll stay out there for as long as he can.”
The Panthers have a big pack which means it’s another test for the Knights’ middle men.
Having got the edge on Cronulla last week, Brown knows his troops can’t take the mountain men lightly.
Brown expects to see a vastly improved Penrith side from the team which fell to Parramatta 20-12 in round 1.
“They probably just had a bit of an unhappy day with their hands,” Brown said.
“They had a lot of early errors which puts a lot of pressure on your middle forwards.”
Kicking off at 5.30pm at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday, it’s expected to be a dry track for the encounter.
“We’re looking for our game to develop regardless of the conditions,” Brown said.
“I’m sure the dryer weather will help both teams.
“We’d be expecting to play a similar style to last week and we’re certainly not expecting Penrith to turn the ball over like they did (against the Eels).”