Following a whirlwind 48 hours in the NRL, the focus for the nib Newcastle Knights is firmly on the game against the Warriors.
With David Klemmer and Mitchell Pearce both called into NSW camp ahead of Origin III, the Knights will roll into Round 16 against the Warriors with a newly revised team.
The team list is yet to be finalised.
While it’s a loss, Jamie Buhrer spoke of the positive side of Klemme’s Blues selection, providing an “opportunity” for other players to step up in his absence.
“We’re all very happy for Klem, he’s very deserving to be in that team and I’m looking forward to watching him,” Buhrer said.
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“I think it’s a good opportunity for a lot of people at the club to show our depth with a lot of our quality players missing. It’s always exciting to play at home as well, the crowds been fantastic all year. All in all, I’m excited.
“I think we’ll do a good job, I’ve got a lot of confidence in the boys that have come in, you know, they’re not being thrust in because they’re not ready. There is great depth in the squad… it’s an exciting time for a lot of people.”
With positions likely to be jumbled following the loss of several central players, the versatility of the club is to be on show this Saturday.
“There’s some individuals that are certainly showing their versatility, obviously Kurt Mann playing centres I think he’s played just about everywhere this year,” Buhrer said.
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“Connor, who has been fantastic in nine in Danny’s absence going to one.
“So, it’s certainly a testament to the versatility of the squad and obviously it’s going to be a test to the depth.”
Buhrer was a realist when speaking about the challenge sitting before he and his teammates.
Although, this situation isn’t foreign to the utility.
But the key is backing the troops picked for the job and ensuring you focus on your task, first and foremost.
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“I’ve been a part of games like this where your missing some key players and they’re really good games to be a part of if you can do the job,” he said.
“It’s also an exciting time for people who will be getting their opportunity, so that’s the way you’ve got to look at it.”
With almost all of the Warriors forwards tipping the scales at 110 kilograms or more, the Knights are going to be tested.
“It’s always a big physical pack, a big physical team,” he said.
“Their outsides backs are huge, they make no secrets of how they want to play. I suppose their going to be full strength just about.
"They’re at a point now where they’re quite close to that fringe of the eighth, so it’s important that they continue to win just as it’s important for us. It’s going to be a difficult game, thankfully it’s at home but certainly a physical encounter.”