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Reserve Grade match preview: Round 8

Competition - ISP. Round - Round 7. Teams - Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles v Newcastle Knights. Date - 15th of April 2017. Venue - Lottoland, Brookvale NSW. Photographer - Paul Barkley | © NRL Photos
Lachlan Fitzgibbon and Nick Meaney in action.

Newcastle Knights v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Date: Saturday April 22
Venue: Cessnock Sports Ground
Kick-off: 3pm

Squads

Knights

1. Nick Meaney, 2. Tom Hughes, 3. Cory Denniss, 4. Braden Robson, 5. Jacob Gagan, 6. Will Pearsall, 7. Jaelen Feeney, 8. Mickey Paea, 9. Tyler Randell, 10. Pauli Pauli, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Pat Mata’utia, 13. Josh King. Interchange: 14. Joey Morris, 15. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 16. Tyrone Amey, 17. Bradie Smith, 18. Faitotoa Faitotoa, 19. Jake McNamara, 20. Sam Bernstrom, 21. Jake Finn.

Bulldogs

1.Bradley Abbey, 2. Tyrone Phillips, 3. Jeremiah Leasi, 4. R Faleao, 5. Reimis Smith, 6. Josh Cleeland, 7. Adam Keighran, 8. Andrew Saunders, 9. Craig Garvey, 10. Francis Tualau, 11. Asipeli Fine, 12. Rhyse Martin, 13. Renouf Toomaga. Interchange: 14. Bronson Garlick, 15. Raymond Moujalli, 16. Rodney Griffin, 17. Josh Bergamin, 19. Thomas Carr, 20. D’rhys Miller.

Match Analysis

Reserve Grade Newcastle Knights coach Simon Woolford has rewarded Mickey Paea for his solid performance last week, returning after injury, with a spot in the starting 13.

“Mickey came back last week from quite a long time off, he would have had a month off and he was really good off the bench for us,” maintained Woolford.

“It gives us a little bit more experience to start the game and could bring in those guys like Tyrone Amey, Faitotoa (Faitotoa) and Brayden Smith gets his first game this week too so they can come off the bench and lift us when they need to.”

The ISP coach won’t have powerful forward Jacob Saifiti this week, who will be joining his brother back in the NRL squad.

“We only got Jacob for one game, we didn’t expect him to be there that long but if there is a position on the field where we’re quite good with numbers it’s in the middle,” commented Woolford.

“Guys like Tyrone Amey and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, they’ve been doing a great job, (Sam) Bernstrom, Faitotoa (Faitotoa) has done a great job too.

“We have got plenty of middle guys and the part time and full time squad can fill the brief, we’re not too concerned about that.”

A serious knee injury to David Bhana has seen Joey Morris come in on the bench.

“It was a bad injury and David will be out for quite some time,” said Woolford.

“Joey Morris has been in our part time squad since November and he has been itching to get an opportunity so he gets off the bench this week.”

Woolford said they have worked on the positives from last week’s loss against the Blacktown Workers.

“We went over the review and there were quite a lot of positives to come out of it,” he said.

“Defensively apart from the tries that we let in, we were really good, our win loss ratio with our tackles was the best it’s been all year.

“When we do make errors we need to make sure we’re able to defend them and if we do that there is no reason why we can’t get back into the winner’s circle.”

Where it will be won

The ISP coach believes they’ll have a better chance to win if they can respond to errors more effectively.

“We made quite a few errors in our own end last week and we didn’t put up much resistance as far as our try line defence,” said Woolford.

“We have identified where we went wrong and I’ve got no doubt the boys will make amends and fix them and make improvements this week.”

The Reserve Grade Knights take on the Bulldogs this Saturday at Cessnock Sports Ground, the match kicks off at 3pm.