The Knights are back at home in front of their own fans for the first time since the middle of March tomorrow, taking on competition leaders Parramatta.
It's a huge game for the club on and off the field. But the importance of the contest hasn't influenced coach Adam O'Brien when it comes to his team selection.
When O'Brien first arrived in town last November, one of the lines that stood out during our first interview with him was this one: "I'll be very tough on the players but at the same time, they will know I care about them."
O'Brien demonstrated how much this week.
Right now, he is without six of the 17 players who took the field in the opening game of the season against the Warriors because of injury. The Knights have been hit as hard as any other club in that department.
They've lost hooker Jayden Brailey for the season and winger Edrick Lee for the rest of the competition rounds at least. The others unavailable this week are Mitch Barnett, who hasn't played since round two, Connor Watson, who has been out since early in round three, Tim Glasby and Sione Mata'utia.
Even though he is light on troops, O'Brien had no hesitation in resting Mata'utia for at least a week following his concussion against Manly. Vision of the Knights backrower on the ground for several minutes being treated last Sunday didn't look great but it wasn't as serious as it came across.
He did suffer a head knock but Mata'utia was also badly winded and hurt his ankle at the same time which prolonged the time he was on the ground.
It's also been revealed Mata'utia's concussion history has not been as serious as has been made out. While he has had more than his share of head knocks, he has also been diagnosed with suffering from brain migraines, which explains some of his headache issues over the years.
But after going off for a HIA a few weeks back, O'Brien is taking no chances with him even though at a pinch, he could have played against the Eels. The same goes for Glasby, who will miss his second game in a row and may be sidelined for longer than that.
Glasby's HIA against the Cowboys was his fourth this season and according to O'Brien, you won't see him back on the paddock until the medical experts are completely happy to fully clear him.
Despite missing two starting forwards, O'Brien refused to bring back Barnett, even though he has been cleared to return by his surgeon. The coach wants Barnett to have another full week of contact at training before considering him.
"Yes, it's an important match this week back at home but it's one match," O'Brien told us. "I'd rather play the long game and make sure we are looking after the players first and foremost otherwise we'll end up with more of them injured."
Success on the road
If you told the Knights before the season kicked off they would win five and draw one of their first eight games even though only one match was going to be played at home, they'd have taken it no questions asked.
The team has done a great job despite having one of the toughest travel draws of any side in the competition.
Two six hour round bus trips to Campbelltown, the Wests Tigers at Leighhardt Oval, a Townsville day trip and taking on Manly at Brookvale were among the assignments during that period. 'Home games' were an hour bus trip away in Gosford.
By comparision, the Eels have played six of their first eight games on their home ground at Bankwest Stadium with the other two games direct flights to Gold Coast and Brisbane. That is a huge leg-up.
But the true test for the Knights comes now in being able to take advantage of their position. Because they have done the hard yards early, they have a softer-than-most draw during the second half of the season.
If they don't take advantage now, they will have no-one to blame but themselves.
No-one in Newcastle will have been watching the David Fifita contract tug-o-war between Brisbane and the Gold Coast more intently than Knights forward Herman Ese'ese.
Ese'ese plays his 50th NRL game for the Knights against Parramatta tomorrow but his future beyond the end of the season is clouded.
The Titans are very interested in picking him up but money will be an issue if they happen to snare Fifita.
Klemmer's new skill
David Klemmer was among the game's best props prior to this season but is an even bigger force now that he has added a late off-load to his skill-set.
The Knights forward leader has off-loaded 25 times this season, just one shy of the game's most prolific off-loader, Eels prop Junior Paulo, which makes their head-to-head battle tomorrow more intriguing.
A stat that Knights coach Adam O'Brien will be well aware of is an indication of why Parramatta is leading the competition. The Eels are second phase masters, producing 135 off-loads in eight games, 40 more than the next best Roosters going into this round.
Safs a tower of strength
It's a little known fact the Saifiti twins were heavily courted by St George Illawarra as teenagers before they made the decision to join the Newcastle Knights.
Daniel and Jacob's mother Bev was even talking of relocating from the Central Coast to Wollongong and looking for work there at one stage before then Knights' head of recruitment Peter Mulholland stepped in and made sure they headed north up the F3 rather than south.
They have been a great get for the club. Daniel has already played Origin and Jacob is now snapping at his heels. An announcement on a new two year deal for Jacob is imminent.