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Saifiti brothers making inroads

Newcastle pair Daniel and Jacob Saifiti were earmarked as future stars of the game and are now beginning to show consistent signs after 18 months in the Telstra Premiership.

‌Knights coach Nathan Brown believed like most of the young squad, the Saifiti brothers would take time to develop in the Hunter with limited experience in the front-row available to help guide them along.

It seems Daniel has taken it upon himself to begin to pave his own way with brother Jacob right behind him. 

The 21-year-old is averaging 115 metres per game, up from 103 last season. While it won't seem like much a collective improvement across the board from each player has seen Newcastle far more competitive in 2017. 

"It's my job to do," Daniel said in response.  

"Physically I am starting to get better.

"All our young guys last year who were inexperienced have got over 30 games under our belt now and that helps us.

"I've had almost 30 games and that helps but everyone is getting that experience and knowing what to do now to get a win."

Jacob is on par with last season's personal efforts but has drastically cut down on his own missed tackle count and error rate. 

He produced a career-high 198 metres against the Dragons on the weekend and made a strong point for more game time alongside his sibling. 

Brown has opted to play the brothers in tandem in a bid to have at least one on the field at all times, however after Sunday's barnstorming effort on the paddock together, the coach could now be forced to change of plans. 

"We are playing off the back of each other so that helps," Daniel said.

"I thought he was close to being one of the best players on the field so having him make runs like that inspires me.

"It just showed how much we've improved over the period of time."

Newcastle will be aiming for back-to-back wins on Saturday for the first time in two seasons and have a strong chance against the Warriors at home where they've won two of the last three against Steven Kearney's side at the venue.

With the loss of Bodene Thompson on the weekend and Shaun Johnson a fortnight ago, the visitors will head to Newcastle knowing their finals aspirations are over. 

The Knights weren't brilliant against the Dragons but like many sides this season, found a way to win on the back of scrambling defence. 

"We were good as a team to get back there and we had good cover in defence especially from [Nathan] Ross with a couple of try savers," Saifiti said.

"[But] we won ugly. Winning a game like that sometimes is better than winning good.

"The previous weeks against Roosters, Broncos and Bulldogs, we lost pretty.

"[The Warriors] are skilful and they probably have the best spine in the comp or close to it, probably up there with the [Melbourne] Storm.

"We've got to stop their big men and their offloads."


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