THEY'VE just been beaten by the worst team in the NRL, and now the Newcastle Knights find themselves up against arguably the greatest player of all time.
Cameron Smith, that is, the man widely known as the "GOAT", or the Immortal in waiting.
The Melbourne Storm skipper has dominated Newcastle like no player in history.
No individual has won as many game against the Knights as Smith (24). No player has scored as many points against Newcastle (228) as the champion hooker.
Indeed, Smith has celebrated more wins over the Knights than Newcastle's entire current squad have enjoyed against him.
Eleven of Newcastle's players named for Sunday's clash with Melbourne at Sunshine Coast Stadium have never beaten the Storm.
The six Knights who have tasted success against the Victorian juggernaut - Mitchell Pearce, Aidan Guerra, David Klemmer, Kurt Mann, Tautau Moga and Hymel Hunt - boast a collective 19 wins between them.
And Sunday might be Newcastle's last opportunity to get one back on the maestro.
At 37, Smith is yet to make a decision on whether he will play on next year.
If he does decide to hang up the boots at season's end, this may well be his final showdown with Newcastle, unless the two teams cross paths in the play-offs.
For that scenario to occur, the Knights will need to stage a rapid form reversal after last week's 18-12 loss to last-placed Canterbury.
Ending an eight-game, five-year losing streak at the hands of the Storm would seem as good a place for Newcastle to start as any.
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