Head Coach of the Newcasltle Knights Nathan Brown spoke ahead of his side's journey to Southern Cross Group Stadium on Sunday.
Speaking to the media in Newcastle, Brown admitted that his side would be facing a stern test against the Cronulla Sharks.
He said the fact that the Sharks have been able to field only a limited amount of troops in 2016 has gone a long way to contributing to their success on field.
“They keep using the same 18 or 19 players all year, which has obviously helped their cause,” said Brown.
“They’re a Club that’s probably been building this roster for about 5 or 6 years now, so they’ve got a lot of consistency in what they do and they've got a lot of players who are very, very mature and played a lot of football and a lot of football at a high level."
Brown said that whilst the more experienced campaigners within the Cronulla side have laid a good foundation for the Sharks, the two tear away rookies Jack Bird and Valentine Holmes give the side genuine class.
“The one or two younger players they’ve got in Bird and Holmes are probably players of high quality, who are better than your average players.
“So they’re in a really good situation where this next 2 or 3 years is going to be a real window for them to win a premiership.”
Despite winning just one match in 2016, Brown praised his side’s effort in recent weeks and said his side will be out to challenge the Sharks on their home turf.
“For us though, the last two weeks I think everyone expected us to go to Canberra and get a flogging and expected Melbourne to give us a big flogging.
“I think while we didn’t win; we were disappointed not to win, [but] at least we made the opposition earn the right to win.”
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