Jack Stockwell is expecting a big battle in the forwards when the Knights play the Rabbitohs in Round 3.

It's been 604 days, but who's really counting?

Knights fans are, that's who.

604 days since the Knights have put two wins on the board in a season after only managing to conjure up one victory in 2016.

They got their first win of 2017 against the Titans in Round 2, snapping a 19-game losing streak, but the Novocastrians will know based on last year's results the second victory can be even harder to come by.

The Knights have showed signs of being a more competitive outfit this season but forward Jack Stockwell admits it is time to convert that into results.

"We are putting in so much effort and everyone can see that and the fans can see that," Stockwell said.

"We are just falling short in a couple of areas which is letting us down and not taking opportunities when they come, and that's always going to cost you in the end.

"We certainly know we've got to do that little bit more to try and get those wins on the board."

‌Losing Sea Eagles recruit Jamie Buhrer for up to three months with a broken foot comes at a costly time for Nathan Brown's men, who are also without their other marquee signing in Rory Kostjaysn for an indefinite period due to a throat injury.

"Jamie is a real leader on and off the field and all the boys got around him in the pre-season and just built off the back of what he brought to the club," Stockwell said.

"Unfortunately JB (Buhrer) was a real mentor to a lot of the younger guys and he's out for a few weeks but having Starlo (Josh Starling) there and the Saifiti boys, everyone has got a bit more experience this year."

On the outer midway through last season after managing just six appearances in the top grade, Stockwell has bounced back to play in the opening seven rounds of the Telstra Premiership.

"I have been reasonably happy with the way I have started the year and I've just put my front foot forward," he said.

"I had a good off-season and pre-season, tried to work really hard on my fitness and strength and I have been rewarded by Browny and the coaching staff and I hope to continue solid performances.

"It's a boost of confidence and good to know I've got the support behind me."

 


Newcastle travel to Townsville for Saturday night's clash against the Cowboys and will be boosted by the return of veteran back-rower Anthony Tupou, while the North Queensland side will still be without key personnel in Johnathan Thurston, Lachlan Coote and Matt Scott. 

It will be the first time Thurston has missed a clash with the Knights at 1300Smiles Stadium since 2006 and Cowboys fullback Kalyn Ponga will take on his future teammates before joining the club in 2018.

"[The Cowboys] haven't had the best couple of weeks but we need to still be on guard; they are a very good team," Stockwell said.

"Not having JT and Matt Scott there is certainly a blow for them but I reckon they'll bounce back this week and we've got to be prepared.

"They are a really well put together team and it's going to be a tough game."

 

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