Newcastle made light work of Fiji Bati as the Knights opened their 2011 NRL pre-season with a 72-0 thumping at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday night.

Playing before a crowd of just under 3000, the Knights ran in 14 unanswered tries against the overmatched opponents, whose squad contained 14 players who had never before been out of Fiji.

The Knights have developed a link with the Fijian rugby league association in recent times, with the NRL club helping with the development of the game on the tiny Pacific island.

Peter Mata'utia was the star of the show for the home side with two tries and three goals, the young fullback one of 12 try-scorers with Josh Ailaomai also scoring a double.

Running out a side featuring a smattering of regular first graders, the Knights were in control from the outset with prop Antonio Kaufusi particularly dominant - though Fiji gave as good as they got with the match punctuated by a series of big hits from both packs.

Warriors recruit Siuatonga Likiliki impressed as he pushed his case for a berth in the season opener in a month's time, while a 60 metre run from one of several restarts capped a solid display by Richie Fa'aoso.

Knights coach Rick Stone is likely to bring back a few more senior members for Saturday night's trial against Penrith in Port Macquarie, with former St George Illawarra forward Neville Costigan set to play his first game for the club.

- AAP