“I’ve got to take control where I can and when I need to”

Take control. Run the calls.

That’s what Mason Lino admits he’ll have to get used to, playing in the halves with captain Mitchell Pearce.

“Ju (Mitchell Pearce) doesn’t mind me overcalling,” Lino added.

“He likes the way I play, and he sees the same situations as I see.

 “He wants me to take it on and he’s really supportive of that.

“I’ve just got to step up and take control when I can and when I need to.”

Ponga focused on improve late-game decision making

After returning from a knee injury, the Newcastle Knights five-eighth was thrust into NRL duties a little earlier than expected last week against the Dragons.

Lino knows he was a little underdone.

It was also his first time combining with Pearce, trying to make a new combination click.

“I didn’t think I’d be in the halves so quickly,” Lino laughed.

“I probably didn’t play my best football to be honest.

“But I’m a halfback and I came here to be in the halves.

Knights produce NSW junior blues

“I’m in the position I want to be in, it’s just finding my role with the team and how I can take some pressure off junior and KP.”

Preparing for this weekend’s clash against Manly, Lino will be working hard to get the connection right.

“Probably could have taken a bit more pressure off Ju but it’s something we need to work on as a new combination,” he said.

“There are some different situations we need to have a chat about and work out whose best for which role.

“Once we get more games in, we should be right.”