Knights coach Adam O'Brien has challenged his players to "own" the embarrassing loss that cost the club hosting rights to Sunday's elimination final and redeem themselves against South Sydney at ANZ Stadium to keep their premiership campaign alive.
O'Brien has resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes to his line-up for the do-or-die clash, with the return of backrower Lachlan Fitzgibbon from injury the only significant addition to the squad hammered by the Gold Coast in the final round.
O'Brien is banking on his Jekyll and Hyde side rebounding strongly from the heavy Titans defeat in much the same way as they have done previously this season when they have dished up a poor performance.
The week after being humiliated 32-20 by lowly North Queensland in round 7, they hit back to defeat Manly at Brookvale.
They crushed Cronulla 38-10 a week after a 36-6 thrashing from the Warriors in Tamworth and they following a 42-12 thumping from the Sydney Roosters with a big win over St George Illawarra.
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"We've put the Titans game to bed but we've got no choice than to own that performance and the boys now have the chance to redeem themselves,"O'Brien told the Newcastle Herald.
"It's all-or-nothing and there are no second chances. It's important we respond and I'm confident we will."
O'Brien would not be drawn on the possibility of any changes to the squad announced yesterday.
Tex Hoy, who has been out of action for the past fortnight with a hamstring strain, has been named on an extended bench but did not train on Monday.
He will need to pass a fitness test later in the week to even be considered.
Souths are coming off a remarkable 60-8 massacre of the Sydney Roosters with five-eighth Cody Walker looming as a massive attacking threat.
In his past six games, Walker has scored four tries, come up with a remarkable 10 try assists, eight line breaks and 25 tackle busts and was almost untouchable against the Roosters.
Walker's stats are not lost on O'Brien.
"Clearly going on form, he is going to be a very big threat," he said.
"But in saying that, he's got plenty of guys around him who are going pretty good as well so we won't be making the mistake of focusing on any individual too much.
"At the end of the day, we have to make sure all our ducks are in a row.
"At our best, we can compete with anyone. We'll be looking to be at our best."
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