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Round 18, 2014 VB NSW CUP
Saturday, July 12  Kick-Off: 3pm  
Venue: Brookvale Oval, Sydney 

Last Time They Met:

Newcastle romped to a comprehensive 56-10 victory over the Manly in the round of last season.



Wiliame, Mantellato, P.Mata'utia, Tahu, C.Mata'utia, Minto, Dobson, Likiliki, Waddell, Vaivai, Newton, Randell, Horwood. Interchange: Redman, Steele, Underwood, Siulepa, Hartin, Elias, Mataora.   


Gutherson, Berryman, Satini, Blair, Williams, Iosefa, Littlejohn, Sao, Hodges, Andrews, Bartley, Chee Kam, Harrison. Interchange: Reardon, Kelly, Palmer, Lauaki, Haddrick. 

Match analysis:

Rick Stone's men came crashing back to earth last weekend with a disappointing 26-0 loss to Illawarra. 

The comprehensive defeat ended a three match winning sequence for the Knights.

While it's never a pleasant feeling to be held scoreless, Stone has urged his side to bottle the pain as motivation moving forward.

"It’s disappointing, especially considering we’ve been playing OK in the last few weeks.

"So we need to get our heads around what we are going to do if we want to a force in the competition."

On a positive note, new recruit Sam Mataora impressed in his maiden match for the Club.

The former Canberra Raiders forward only played limited time off the bench against Illawarra, but Stone was more than happy with his impact and influence.   

"He (Sam) did pretty well for his first go," he says.

"He only did one training session with us on the Friday and he carried the ball pretty strong and tackled.

"He’ll get better each week and get more time."

Key match-ups:

Michael Dobson vs Jack Littlejohn       

Back in the fold after suffering a serious rib injury two weeks ago, Dobson is of vital importance to the Knights' chances of winning. 

The former Canberra half has been one of the Cup's most consistent performers and coach Stone will be hoping that form continues against the Sea Eagles. 

Travis Waddell vs Jayden Hodges      

Talk to any footballer they'll tell you hooker is arguably the toughest position on the field.

Defined by resilience and sheer work rate, the bloke in the No.9 jumper plays an integral role in every footy team.

It's the same at the Knights with Waddell, a bloke who will do whatever it takes to get his side across the line.  

Watch for the former Raider to lead from the front against Manly on Saturday. 

Timana Tahu vs Cheyse Blair 

Tahu may be the eldest statesman in the Knights' Cup line-up, but he still possesses plenty of ability in those ageing legs. 

The former Test and Origin star has showcased this skill in recent weeks, much to the delight of coach Stone.

For Newcastle to beat Manly at Fortress Brookvale, they'll need all of Tahu's experience to get the job done.

Where it will be won:

The opening 20 minutes. 

Newcastle can't afford to start slowly, especially at Brookvale where the Sea Eagles are traditionally very hard to beat.

If the Knights can gain the early ascendancy in the forwards though, then they have enough strike power out wide to record a much-needed victory away from home.