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Presser Points: O'Brien and Robinson on the big talking points and Ponga's excitement for the Roosters challenge

The nib Newcastle Knights and Sydney Roosters will do battle in a Saturday night showdown at McDonald Jones Stadium in Round 8 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.

The fierce competitors are ready for the next instalment of the rivalry while an important two points will be on the line heading into a the midway point of the season.

Adam O'Brien and Roosters Head Coach Trent Robinson fronted the media to talk all the big talking points leading up to the clash.

O'Brien reflected on his team's performance against Penrith the week before.

"They are feeling good, we played Thursday so the boys had few days off," O'Brien said.

"We needed to freshen the guys up.

"We need to hang onto some of that defence, it was the least amount of missed tackles against the Penrith team for a long time.

"Although we leaked 20 plus points, I feel like we're defending better than the games that we won.

"We need to ask more questions of the defence when we have the ball."

AOB: Preparing for the Roosters battle, building on defence and returning players

Roosters coach Robinson provided an update on injured fullback James Tedesco.

The Origin representative was forced off with concussion in the ANZAC Day clash against the Dragons.

“He (Tedesco) won’t play this weekend,” Robinson confirmed.

“He’ll get rested, recover and get ready for next week. It is dependent on the individual, but he won’t play this week.

“It’s pretty simple to see for us the way Joey Manu plays and the way he’s filled in there (at fullback) over the years. There will be no surprise there."

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Fans were awaiting for a young talent to make his debut however the opposition Head Coach squashed that rumour.

“I’ll use him when he’s ready,” he said of Joseph Suaalii. 

“He’s learning the rigours of the season at the moment. He’s doing well whilst doing year 12 exams and putting that all together.

“As we’ve said from the start, we’ll handle him in the right way and he’ll play when we think he’s ready. He’s getting close."

The Knights and Roosters sit four points apart on the ladder while a win for the red and blue would see them return to the top eight.

One win in the last nine against the Chooks doesn't read favourably for the Knights, however a win in the most recent fixture at McDonald Jones Stadium in 2019 will give the side confidence.

O'Brien says he's well-aware of the strengths of the Tricolours having spent time there as an assistant coach.

Rivalries: Knights v Roosters

"They've got quality all across the park," O'Brien said.

"They're well-coached, understand their roles and still have a hunger for success.

"The most recent (result against the Roosters) was the one in Sydney. They had a lot of joy working up our short sides and they can put points on you quickly. We need to be on all night defensively.

"We're consistent in our preparation regardless of the opposition. We're aware of ladder positions, but it's really irrelevant, it's just about getting us right."

Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga has returned to the field and has played a big influence.

A stunning running metres stats count and a starring role in the Sharks win has seen the 23-year-old make a commanding comeback.

Ponga spoke to the media on his return and highlighted his excitement to face the challenge of the Roosters at home.

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"We want to win in front of our home crowd," Ponga said.

"I know that feeling of beating a quality team in front of this crowd so hopefully we can do it.

"I'm always going to say I need to be better, that's my mindset this week and every week after.

"Last week was a good test (against Penrith), I felt good out there. It took a couple of weeks to get used to but I feel fit.

"It's all about winning this week."