St George Illawarra Dragons centre Euan Aitken is not underestimating what lies ahead against the Newcastle Knights at Hunter Stadium, Newcastle on Saturday.
The Red-and-Whites enter the encounter on the back of a strong display against the Melbourne Storm last round and are keen to build upon that result, which starts with the bottom-placed Knights.
Aitken is wary though not to dismiss the opposition noting that there is no doubt they will be doing all they can to reclaim the silverware in honour of the aforementioned player who represented both clubs.
The NSW Country Origin player is also excited to come up against former teammate Peter Mata’utia, who departed the Red-and-Whites earlier on in the season.
“The Knights have some quality players and they are getting more experience each week they play together on the field,” said Aitken.
“It’s good having Tariq in the team but they also have Pete up there with them which will be a good battle for me.
“He is going to be my opposing centre so it’ll be good coming up against him having trained together for the past number of years.
“Both teams will be playing for the Alex McKinnon Cup so we’ll both be trying to put on a good showing for him and it’ll be a good battle.
“We’re entering a stage where we come up against some bottom-placed teams so we need to make sure we turn up with the right attitude and try to get the wins.
“The body has pulled-up alright after having a couple of days off and we spent training going through a long conditioning session which was good.”