Round 1 nothing to read into: Rochow
Tough Newcastle Knights and Country Origin representative Robbie Rochow has declared that the Knights Round 1 capitulation against the Panthers is nothing to read into as the teams ready themselves for battle against one another again this Sunday afternoon.
With the Knights going down 30-8 in their season opener to the Panthers, Rochow was adamant that the game will be a completely different one despite his side winning two games since.
"It's been and done now – we're a different side now, we'll have a different 17 playing, so we'll just approach it like any other week," Rochow told NRL.com after last Sunday's City-Country game.
With key five-eighth Jarrod Mullen already missing from Newcastle's side opening game and Darius Boyd (hamstring), Kurt Gidley and Tyrone Roberts (both concussions) injured over the course of their Round 1 game, the Knights never found their way out of second gear.
"I haven't watched many of [the Panthers] games. When we played them earlier this year we weren't at full-strength and we really didn't play our best football, so we'll be looking to change that this weekend," Rochow said.
With Rochow suffering a slight drop in form after playing in every Newcastle game last year, Knights coach Wayne Bennett has been throwing him around into different roles in an attempt to help the improving East Maitland junior to build some momentum from moving forward.
While averaging similar numbers in defence, Rochow, 23, is struggling to bend the line as much in 2014. He has produced more than 100 metres in only three of his eight appearances this season, averaging 89 metres per game. That is well down on his 101.2 metres per game across 2013, a number he will be looking to improve on in coming weeks.
Rochow spent the previous week in Country Origin camp with teammates Mullen, Roberts, Beau Scott and James McManus, having been a late inclusion to the side. He will be looking to lift his game coming out of the Representative Round – starting this weekend against the Panthers.