Knights look to silence outside noise in Titans clash
Coach Adam O'Brien says his mentally refreshed Newcastle outfit are looking to silence a few critics after their pre-planned bye-week break came under the media's microscope.
The Knights missed out on participating in Magic Round this year, with some of the playing group taking the opportunity of a gap in the schedule to get away from the Steel City for a few days.
O'Brien said there had been plenty of commentary about how his players spent their bye week as the Knights enter a period disrupted by State of Origin and two more weeks off.
"We've got another two byes in the next five weeks, so we're going to train through those ones and that was always the plan," he said on the eve of Newcastle's Sunday clash with Gold Coast.
"It served its purpose on the back of two golden points and a trip to Townsville - if you're going to have a longer break, now was the time for it.
"All we can be judged on is how we play on Sunday."
The Knights sit 12th on the ladder with three wins, five losses and a draw through 10 rounds and meet a Titans outfit inside the top eight and riding the high of back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Both sides are coming off clashes with Parramatta; O'Brien's Knights crushed 43-12 in round nine while the Titans brought the magic to Suncorp Stadium with a 26-24 victory last Sunday.
In positive news for Newcastle, Adam Elliott returns for his first game since round one via the interchange, while Phoenix Crossland slots in at hooker.
The Knights have won their past four games against the Titans at home.
"They're a dangerous footy team and they have been for a couple of years," O'Brien noted of the visitors.
"Two teams coming off different scenarios. We can't put back-to-back performances the way we played against Parramatta, so we want to rectify that.
"And we're coming up against a team that's confident and wants to play their brand of footy, so it makes for a good contest."