Talk to Daniel Saifiti about the big loss to the Sydney Roosters and he says the message to come out of the game has already sunk in ahead of the Knights’ Easter Sunday clash with unbeaten St George Illawarra in Wollongong.
“What we dished up against the Roosters wasn’t acceptable,”he said.
“They beat us in the skill areas but they also beat us attitude-wise and effort-wise which is just not good enough. It’s not acceptable in first grade that’s for sure and it’s something we have spoken about as a group this week leading into the Dragons game.
“It showed up on the video. They were more hungry than us to get the ball. Every ball that wason the ground, they got there first and there is no excuse for that.
“The message was pretty clear. We have to be better in all those effort areas.”
Saifiti believes the Roosters showed his side the blueprint for being successful against the more powerful NRL clubs.
“They showed us why they are winners. They are just so professional and have a winning culture that they have developed over the years,”he said.
“It’s the way they train and their consistency. It shows in the way they play on game day.
“Itis definitely something we can learn from.
“We have such a good team butwe were probably closer to beating them last season when we didn’t have such a good side.”
The Knights will get no respite on Sunday when they face a red hot Dragons side at WIN Stadium, coming off three straight wins including a last start thumping of Gold Coast Titans.
The Dragons boast arguably an even stronger forward pack overall than the Roosters with new halfback Ben Hunt and skipper Gareth Widdop both in outstanding early season form in the halves.
“There is no easy forward pack in the NRL but the Dragons are probably close to the best pack going around.”Saifiti said.
“After last week, it is going to be a challenge butwe really just have to aim up and we honestly feel like we can match them. We got themonce last year and the other game was close as well.
“They’ve improved, we’ve improved so it will be a pretty good match. They were very dominant against the Titans and you look at their whole forward pack -they have all pretty much represented and they have Hunt and Widdop playing off the back of them.
“It will definitely be a big test for us down there.
“A few of the boys have never played down there in Wollongong but it’s a good venue so we are looking forward to it.”
Back-rower Aidan Guerra (cork)will be given as long as possible to prove his fitness.
Reality check: Knights prop Daniel Saifiti says his side was given a lesson in how to become a consistent winner against the Roosters, something they are hoping to take into the clash against the Dragons. Picture: Darren Pateman/AAP