One team’s NRL finals dream will come to an end across the ditch tonight when the Knights do battle with the Warriors in Auckland.
Newcastle is going into the game without Daniel Saifiti who has been ruled out with a hamstring injury after he tore a tendon in last weekend’s win against the Raiders at home.
Brodie Jones will replace him on the bench and the rest of the team remains unchanged.
Knights coach Adam O’Brien said he’s stoked the team has made it this far.
“I’d rather be in it than on holidays,” laughed O’Brien.
“It sounds cliché, but I am pleased for the playing group. There’s been a lot of years where they’ve had a heavy toll weighing on them walking around town and feeling like they’ve let everyone down so I think for them to put together a season that they could hold their heads up high and walk around with a bit of pride fills me with pride.”
Newcastle have played in front of three sold out McDonald Jones Stadium crowds packed with thousands of fans, but tonight will be a little different.
Warriors fans will be out in force desperate to cheer their home side to victory for the chance to host a semi final.
O’Brien said the side just needs to focus on their job.
“It’s just about focusing on your job. The bigger the game and the bigger the atmosphere the more narrow your focus needs to be to the basic fundamentals to your job. Just narrow your focus to do the things that you do well and just add a bit of intensity to it.
“They will settle in to the groove of the game.”
Kick off is at 4:05pm AEST at Go Media Stadium.