Knights half-back Mitchell Pearce.

Pearce: Knights going back to basics for Broncos

Newcastle halfback Mitchell Pearce believes the Knights need to get back to basics in Saturday night's home meeting with Brisbane.

After winning the first two games of the season, the Knights have suffered back-to-back Telstra Premiership losses.

Pearce puts it down to simple things like defensive line speed, minimising errors and controlling the ruck - three key areas in which they haven't consistently matched their opponents.

"I think it's a bit of know-how within the new systems," Pearce said.

"We need to be competing harder for 80 minutes on every play.

"We've all spoken about what we have to do individually and we are looking forward to a good response."

Pearce insists that results are not having a negative impact on morale, claiming every player in the red and blue jersey is often reminded by coach Nathan Brown to improve personally and as a team.

Knights half-back Mitchell Pearce.
Knights half-back Mitchell Pearce. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

"Everyone is motivated to learn and Browny has made that very clear because if you're not then you won't be here," Pearce said.

"We are motivated to get it right on the field this weekend and that's our first goal against the Broncos."

While the former Rooster said most of the focus had been on cleaning up their own game, he admits the Broncos will be just as desperate for a win after a few disappointing games themselves.

"There's plenty of good spatial players. They score plenty of tries and make plenty of breaks off show and goes," Pearce said.

"There's no secret to how good they are with the ball and they've got strike all the way across the park.

"As much as we are respecting the Broncos we've got to worry about our own backyard and get our stuff sorted."

The Knights have been forced to make a major change to their back-line, with a serious knee injury to Tautau Moga opening the door for Ken Sio to make his first appearance of the NRL season. 

Sio, who played 21 top-grade games for the Knights last year, has been named on the wing, with Brown shifting Nathan Ross to centre.

Sio believes plenty of pre-season training alongside Ross could prove valuable against a desperate Broncos squad.

"That's why it was good to have a pre-season because we got to learn how each other played," Sio said.

"We know our strengths, weaknesses and work together with it, so it's been good to get that combination going."