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Knights back rower Aidan Guerra.

The last time Newcastle met premiers Melbourne in round six they were given a lesson in how to get off to a fast start. And Knights captain Aidan Guerra says they must heed that lesson if they are to give the Storm a run for their money this Sunday.

Slow starts have plagued the Knights, who have conceded the opening try within the opening seven minutes in five of their past six matches.

When the Knights travelled to AAMI Park in round six, the Storm raced to an 18-point lead at almost a point a minute and the game was as good as over.

"Confidence is one thing that you can lose very quickly," Guerra said.

"When we were down in Melbourne last time, we got a lesson on how you start football games.

"We'll hopefully take something out from that against what is a physical side.

Knights v Storm - Round 15

"In the game earlier in the season, we just gave them the ball and they had 17 out of the first 20 sets with the ball. If you do that to a quality side, they are going to put you to the sword.

"It takes it out of you - they are a side that controls the ball and they made very few errors."

The Novocastrians have turned the corner in recent weeks, conceding just 22 points in their past two games after leaking 146 points between rounds 9-12, including a 48-10 hammering from Cronulla.

Guerra believes the Knights now have a formula to win, but it is important they make it show on the scoreboard.

"You take positives out of good performances, but we are chasing results now," he said.

"When you put in an effort and don't come away with the result, you can come away with other things like lessons, and belief, as we did last week.

Aidan Guerra comforts teammate Lachlan Fitzgibbon after being thrashed by the Sharks.
Aidan Guerra comforts teammate Lachlan Fitzgibbon after being thrashed by the Sharks. ©Shane Myers/NRL Photos

"But at the end of the day, we are a results-driven sport, and for us, now that we have that belief from last week's game against the Roosters we can use that."

Luke Yates is making his return to the side, in place of the injured Jamie Buhrer.

The 23-year old made his debut in round one last year, playing 19 matches, before returning to first grade this year for three games.

Yates feels for Buhrer but knows he must make the most of his opportunity.

"There's definitely a spot there, and I want to put my hand up and take it," Yates said.

"Going back to the reserves and playing a few games there really motivates you.

"You have to play well to come back - so you are not going there to kick stones, you are going there to compete and get your spot back in first grade."


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