Timana Tahu of the Knights runs with the ball during the round 24 NRL match between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Newcastle Knights at Brookvale Oval on August 19, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.
Timana Tahu of the Knights runs with the ball during the round 24 NRL match between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Newcastle Knights at Brookvale Oval on August 19, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. Matt King / Getty Images

Newcastle focus on fitness as Cowboys loom ahead

NEWCASTLE is focused on playing the full 80 minutes against the Cowboys in Townsville tonight after being overrun in the closing stages of Sunday's 23-10 loss to the Melbourne Storm.

The Knights trailed by just six points with seven minutes on the clock, before a Cooper Cronk field goal and a late try to Bryan Norrie blew out the scoreline.

Five-eighth Jarrod Mullen said the Cowboys line-up was much better than their 11th position on the ladder suggested.

"Johnathan Thurston, Matt Bowen and James Tamou are the type of players who can hurt you all over the park," Mullen said. "No games are easy and we are going to have to turn up and put in our best performance to get the two points."

The Knights are in seventh place, just three points ahead of the Cowboys, and are still not assured of playing finals football.

"There are a lot of teams who can still make the eight," Mullen said. "We have three games to go and everyone is going to be busting their behinds to get the chocolates."

Amazingly, if the Cowboys win, and the Broncos, Raiders and Titans all lose, Neil Henry's men will be in eighth place after this weekend.



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