St George Illawarra Dragons National Youth Competition team second-rower Andrew McCarthy is expecting tough opposition in the form of the Newcastle Knights at Hunter Stadium, Newcastle on Sunday.
The Young Dragons take to the road in the final round of the Under 20s competition presently perched second on the ladder, two points below their upcoming hosts.
McCarthy concedes that the team will need to be alert from the opening whistle to prevent the home side from taking an early lead and is excited as what lies ahead.
“It was a good win against the Brisbane Broncos last round and we realised they were a pretty good side when they touched us up early on,” said McCarthy.
“We’ve trained all year to start hard and while we were under a bit of pressure we knew that if we got in the grind we can play our best footy.
“We did do just that and started to put a few points on them.
“We’ve suffered from a few slow starts the past couple of weeks but we fixed that up against the Gold Coast Titans.
“That wasn’t the case against the Broncos but we accommodated for that by grafting hard.
“We expect the Knights to try and do the same thing so we will need to be aware of their playmakers on the field.
“It really is a top-of-the-table clash and both teams know a strong defence will win the game.”