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Form makes Saf brothers even harder to pick apart

Daniel and Jacob Saifiti are fast becoming leaders of the Club.

Their form and attitudes towards the game and training have been nothing short of class.

For coach Adam O’Brien, he’s relishing the opportunity to work with the young forwards.

The 24-year-old twins have started season 2020 in fine form and the nib Newcastle Knights are reaping the rewards.

“I’ve said it publicly, they’re hard to pick apart and they’re even harder now,” O’Brien said.

“They’re so close. When Daniel comes off and Jacob comes on, we get to continue that power in attack and they’re working really hard defensively.”

An injury-interrupted 2019 saw Jacob make seven NRL appearances last year, while his brother Daniel made his State of Origin debut for NSW.

This year, Jacob has come off the bench, averaging close to 130 metres in three appearances this season.

According to Daniel Saifiti, Jacob is making up for lost time.

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“In the off-season we talked and he said he felt like he wasted three years,” Daniel said earlier in the week.

“I told him not to look at it like that, it’s a learning curve.

“He saw it as a new start, with Adsy (coach O’Brien) coming in it was like a breath of fresh air and he trained the house down.

“I’m so proud of him and the way he’s played the first three games is a reward for that.”

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According to O’Brien, it has less to do with his coaching and more to do with Jacob’s attitude and fitness.

“It’s not so much what I’ve done, it’s what Jacob’s decided to do for himself,” O’Brien said.

“He was one of the guys when I drove in here at the start of the year, well before they had to in here, he was training off his own accord.

“He got himself in good physical condition, number one. He’s really settled off the field… and his training has been really consistent. He’s worked hard every day.

“… he would’ve looked at Daniel playing Origin, that’s why he would’ve felt he wasted a few years.

“We’re lucky to have both of them. I’m glad they’re both here.”

While Jacob has been in fine form, Daniel is no slouch himself.

The 24-year-old State of Origin prop played a whopping 70 minutes in the 14-14 draw with the Panthers last week.

Saifiti also made 45 tackles – the most in his NRL career, coupled with 217 running-metres, his highest tally since round 11, 2016 – his debut season.