Hopefully all that garbage coming out of Cronulla this week will have given the Warriors some extra motivation.

They'll need it against the Knights. You'd have to describe the Knights' form over the past two weeks - when they have hammered Manly and the Bulldogs - as worrying. Actually, the whole competition this year has been pretty darn worrying.

Looking at it a couple of weeks ago, Sunday's match against the Knights was shaping up as a comfortable home win for the Warriors. The Knights were as good as out of it and the Warriors were travelling pretty well.

But it just never seems to work out like that in the NRL.

There really are no easy games. All of a sudden, the Knights are one of the form teams of the competition. Since all but dropping out of the running, they have been playing with a freedom that has made them extremely dangerous.

They are not dead yet, either. They'll believe that if they can win on Sunday they can go on and sneak into the finals.

They'll also be boosted by Steve Simpson announcing his retirement this week. When a legend like that decides it's time to go, everyone wants to send him off the right way.

The Knights will be right up for this match. Hopefully the Warriors will be, too.

Those comments coming out of Cronulla that the Warriors aren't good enough to be in the finals or challenge the top teams were quite bizarre.

If you ask me, it's probably a sign that the Sharks have been losing so often they've finally run out of things to say.

Having a pop at the Warriors gave everyone something else to talk about other than yet another Sharks' defeat.

But it's not just the Sharks who are down on the Warriors. When you watch the Aussie TV shows, no one is really giving them much of a chance. They have been pretty much written off.

In some ways that's understandable. The Warriors have been off the pace a bit lately. They haven't quite lived up to our expectations.

But that might be a good thing. It means they've got plenty of improvement left in them - and they'll definitely need to improve to beat the Knights.

It will be interesting to see if Jarrod Mullen plays on Sunday. He has been in top form recently but he is carrying a rib injury.

Given that it's an all-or-nothing situation for the Knights, I expect they'll give him a needle and send him out to play if at all possible.

With Kurt Gidley having settled into the halves, the Knights have a strong combination there. They also have an extremely dangerous right side, where "Mad Dog" Adam MacDougall and Akuila Uate are both chasing try-scoring records.

Reports that New South Wales and Australia are chasing Uate really annoy me.

You can't blame the players, who can earn a whole heap more money by turning their backs on their countries, but it's totally counter-productive to efforts to grow the international game.

Fiji were fantastic at the World Cup and they produce loads of gifted players.

Remember Jarryd Hayne played for them at the World Cup. Imagine a Fiji side with Petero Civoniceva, Hayne, Uate and Lote Tuqiri in it? How good would that be to watch?

Instead, Australia poaches the best players from the likes of Fiji, which skews the international game.