Stone rubs the right way on Dolphins in NRL

Wayne Bennett dreamed of a team full of Ray Stones and, as the tough forward prepares to return from injury, the Dolphins' coach thinks his wish may have been granted.

The injury and suspension-hit Newcastle present the Dolphins' first test away from Brisbane on Friday night, the new team undefeated in the NRL following stunning triumphs against the Roosters and Canberra.

Trailing 12-0 in horridly wet conditions in Redcliffe on Saturday, the Dolphins manufactured a victory the veteran coach said only "special" teams were capable of.

Stone missed that game with a knee injury but will face a Knights side without Kalyn Ponga, Jayden Brailey (both concussion), Tyson Frizell (ankle), Jacob Saifiti (suspended), Adam Elliott (groin) and Kurt Mann (calf).

"He just doesn't know when he's beaten; he's got no idea actually, just tries his heart out," Bennett said of the former Parramatta prop.

In a documentary following the new club's journey, Bennett says he would love a team full of players like Stone.

So after a 2-0 start, does he have one?

"I think I have, (or) getting closer to it," he said.

"We wouldn't have won the other night if they had given up on it."

Bennett would not be drawn on the early season predicament of his former club, who battled mass casualties to defeat Wests Tigers last week and move to 1-1.

But he professed his admiration for centre Dane Gagai, who he coached at the Knights and South Sydney.

"Dane's one of my favourite players, always doing his best for you," Bennett said of the man set to play his 150th game for Newcastle.

"I took him to Newcastle, actually. The Broncos had a bit of an issue with him being late for training, kind of let him go.

"He was only 19 then. Then I caught up with him at South Sydney and he's never been late for training."

The Dolphins will be without Jarrod Wallace (personal reasons), with Mason Teague coming back into the side after his debut against the Raiders.

Kodi Nikorima will start at hooker for the suspended Jeremy Marshall-King, while Bennett was coy on Anthony Milford's strong form in the Queensland Cup after being overlooked for teenage five-eighth Isaiya Katoa.

"I haven't seen enough of that Q Cup game to make a comment, but the staff have so they were pretty happy with him," Bennett said of Milford.

"I expect that (strong form in reserves) of all the players here; they know why they're not in the squad and they know what they've got to do (to get into the NRL team)."