HE enjoyed bragging rights at David Klemmer's expense three times last year, and Manly prop Addin Fonua-Blake again shapes as the irresistible force the Knights must withstand in Sunday's showdown at Brookvale Oval.
Fonua-Blake has been arguably the form front-rower in the NRL this season, carrying the ball an average of 197.6 metres per game.
Only wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo, who dominated Newcastle in North Queensland's 32-20 win in Townsville on Saturday, has gained more post-contact ground this season that Fonua-Blake (572 metres).
Even during Sunday's 40-22 loss to Cronulla, Fonua-Blake produced a mighty effort, scoring two tries and making more attacking metres (207) than any other player on the field.
Fonua-Blake and Klemmer have a history dating back to round five last season, when the Manly enforcer was sin-binned for a high tackle that left Knights skipper Mitchell Pearce concussed.
As he sauntered from the field, Fonua-Blake exchanged words with Klemmer, then taunted the spectators booing him.
Klemmer said afterwards the Tongan international "should have been sent off," an opinion validated when Fonua-Blake was suspended for two games.
Manly won that game 26-18 and later trounced Newcastle 30-6 at Brookvale in round 20.
Fonua-Blake then completed a hat-trick of victories against Klemmer by helping Tonga to a memorable 16-12 win against the Kangaroos in a Test match last November.
As the pair prepare for another heavyweight duel, Klemmer has been in outstanding form in his own right, averaging 171 metres and 33 tackles per game.
While both teams are coming off disappointing defeats, there seems little doubt they will rise to the occasion on Sunday. The Knights should relish the challenge of taking on Manly's formidable pack.
Playing up front alongside Fonua-Blake, Marty Taupau can be equally devastating, both with or without the ball.
Back-rowers Curtis Sironen and Joel Thompson are mobile and aggressive, while Test lock Jake Trbojevic is arguably the best ball-playing forward in the competition.
Hooker Danny Levi appears to have regained his confidence since joining Manly and will have a point to prove against his former Newcastle teammates.
But if Klemmer and his NSW Origin partner, Daniel Saifiti, can bring their A games, the Knights are more than capable of fighting fire with fire.
Newcastle will be anxiously awaiting news on lock Tim Glasby, who suffered a head knock in the 21st minute against the Cowboys and did not return. He will need to pass concussion protocols before he is cleared to play.
Knights coach Adm O'Brien held a video review session with his players on Monday and faces at least one tough decision when he names his squad to play Manly, given that teenage centre Bradman Best will be available after being stood down last week for an inadvertent biosecurity breach.
Best's return means that Gehamat Shibasaki or Enari Tuala are likely to make way.
"It could be either of us," Tuala admitted.
"But Bradman's been playing good footy and he deserves a spot in our team."
Tuala said "starting fast" would be Newcastle's focus this week, after allowing the Cowboys to rack up a 26-0 lead on Saturday.