Knights prop Daniel Saifiti can’t wait to tackle Penrith’s James Tamou

KNIGHTS prop Daniel Saifitireckons it’s about time he stamped his authority on a game.


TOWER OF POWER: Knights prop Daniel Saifiti is excited to be doing battle with Penrith’s James Tamou. Picture: Marina Neil

Three rounds into his second season in the NRL, the towering 20-year-old says he is not unhappy with his form, nor is he completely satisfied.

He has carried the ball further than any Newcastle forward (334 metres) and made 50 tackles, but the Fijian international plans to up the ante in Friday’s clash with Penrith at Pepper Stadium, when he will go head-to-head with Panthers enforcer James Tamou.

“Last year when I was playing against guys like Tamou, I was just a young guy coming through,’’ Saifiti told the Newcastle Herald.

“This year I want to put up my hand and have a really good crack and try to get over them …last year, I was just happy to be playing. This year I’m starting, and I want to be a leader of our forward pack.

“I’m more experienced, and it’s a different mindset.’’

Saifiti would love nothing more than to be on the field with his identical sibling Jacob, but Knights coach Nathan Brown has used histwin towers in rotation.

“It’s been a bit different,’’ Daniel said.

“I’m not sure what the thinking is, but we’re happy either way.

“I would like tobeout there with Jacob and I think it brings out the best in us, but it’s about what is best for the team and our bench have been doing a really good job.’’

Saifiti said the Panthers, who like the Knightshave won one of the first three games, would be Newcastle’s toughest challenge so far.

Penrith will be without back-rowerBryce Cartwright, who is set to miss another week because of his ankle injury.

James Fisher-Harris, who replaced Cartwright against the Sydney Roosters last week, is also out after suffering a fractured cheekbone.

After missing the last fortnight, Cartwright is now expected back for the following week’s blockbuster against Melbourne.

Tyrone Peachey is now likely to move into the back-row with Penrith coach Anthony Griffin having the luxury of bringing New Zealand international Peta Hiku into the starting backline.

Griffin described the Knights asthe NRL’s big improvers this year.

“I think their three performances have been strong, they came from behind and nearly beat the Warriors and they handled the Titans and there was nothing in that game against Souths,” Griffin said.

“They’ve been very consistent, very strong, very competitive, their attack is very well structured.”

Griffin also confirmed skipper Matt Moylan would play despite being rested from a training session during the week.