Knights preparing for forward battle
Newcastle are preparing for a power game up the middle against South Sydney and will look to win back-to-back Telstra Premiership games for the first time since 2015 at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday.
The Bunnies lead the competition for line breaks (12) and try-assists (10) to start the year and have made the least amount of errors (11) than any other side heading into their Round 3 clash in the Hunter.
Fresh from their first win in almost a year, the Knights are keen to make sure it isn't their last anytime soon after winning only once in 2016.
Knights forward Jack Stockwell said the side was doing their homework on a rejuvenated Rabbitohs outfit that will also be further motivated to do well in Robbie Farah's long-awaited 250th NRL game.
"They're a good side and always a quality opposition," Stockwell said.
"Losing G.I. (Greg Inglis) is not going to do too much to them, they've still got some good players so we're focusing on what we've got to do with them this week.
"Sam and George Burgess are there and you've got Damian Cook and Robbie Farah there now too so we'll be doing work on them for sure.
"They've got a big forward pack and look to dominate through the middle of the ruck with John Sutton coming back through the middle and Sam Burgess with the off-loads.
"A really big part of our game this week is trying to stop them in the middle."
With his immediate future up in the air last season, the 25-year-old has provided the Knights with two tries coming off the bench in recent weeks and has turned his own personal form around after spending most of 2016 in the Intrust Super Premiership.
"I was pretty happy to get the two meat pies… I probably haven't done that since under 14s at the Picton Magpies," he said.
"It's given me the confidence to keep going from here, to keep building on my game and it's given the team a lot of confidence."
Teammate Sione Mata'utia has been on the end of some brutal defeats against the Rabbitohs in his 47-game career thus far, in which the Knights have only won two of their last ten clashes between the sides.
The former Australian international is adjusting to life in the back-row after making the move permanent over the pre-season and believes his game will develop further with more time on the edge.
"It [the body] wasn't too bad after Round 1 but the win on the weekend definitely took its toll," Mata'utia said.
"I played against them [Rabbitohs] last year and they've obviously got a big pack with the Burgess boys and [Zane] Musgrove coming through is a great player.
"We've got to aim up in the middle, that's where the game will be won this week."
Former Knight Robbie Rochow returns to the Hunter to take on his former club with both sides expected to make no late changes.