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Knights back-rower Brodie Jones.

Knights coach Adam O'Brien does not anticipate moving unlikely hero Brodie Jones to centre again unless there are more in-game injuries.

He now has a few options capable of filling in out wide despite Hymel Hunt joining the casualty ward.

Normally a back-rower, Jones excelled out wide in Newcastle's thrilling round six win over the Sharks, coming up with a number of clutch plays on both sides of the ball and at both ends of the field, but O'Brien said with a week to prepare he would be selecting players in their specialist roles.

"I don't think it's his best position, I think having him back row or even that lock position [is preferable]," O'Brien said.

"If you've got a full week to prepare you pick a centre and that's what we'll do this week but I'd have no qualms putting him back there if something happens again."

Winger Starford To'a was given a chance to go back to reserve grade to build some confidence but was pulled from the Saturday afternoon clash against the Jets as a precaution once Hunt injured his hamstring on Friday night, while Gehamat Shibasaki still took the field in the big Henson Park win.

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"It's a grade one so it could be a lot worse," O'Brien said of Hunt.

"It's not ideal to lose him. He did have a little bit of tightness in the warm-up but it got worse five minutes in. Thankful it's only grade one and it's on the mend.

"We've got Star, he missed out on the weekend, I thought after the Titans game he needed to go back and find some form. We pulled him out of that as soon as Hymel got injured but he's been training really well."

O'Brien was pleased with the team's effort areas against the Sharks, with Jones's contribution filling in at centre and Brayden Musgrove's NRL debut on the wing both earning praise.

The coach also had strong praise for the toughness of fullback Kalyn Ponga, who fought through a virus that caused him to vomit during the game to be the team's best player.

"From getting the tick of approval from the surgeon to playing [in round five] was a small window so to do what he's done in his first two weeks is remarkable," O'Brien said.

"I'd give him a nine out of 10 for the weekend but he didn't give himself one, he was unhappy with parts of his game.

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"He had some stuff in and around defensive responsibilities he wasn't happy with. He's looking very strong with the ball, he's fast and hard to handle and it's something we'll need from him again Thursday night."

That clash at Penrith will be a daunting task, a fact not lost on any in the club.

"These games aren't hard to get yourself up for," O'Brien said.

"You're playing Penrith at Penrith, there'll be a big crowd, their team's going really well. There should be no need for any big speeches this week, we understand what's in front of us."

 

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