NYC Round 18 Preview
CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Round 18, 2014 Holden Cup Premiership
Sunday, July 13 Kick-Off: 12.45pm
Venue: Remondis Stadium, Cronulla
Last Time They Met:
Newcastle charged to a dominant 56-10 victory over the Sharks at Hunter Stadium in Round 4 this season.
Mata'utia, Donovan, Smith, Peni, Birch, Feeney, Keenan, Togitasi, Levi (c), Yates, Fitzgibbon, Pondekas, Boyce. Interchange: De Saxe, Petterson-Robati, Taylor, Pakau.
Holmes, Dibley, Simona, Isaako, Addo-Carr, Clarke, Zarounas, Dillon, Deitz, Goodwin, Moraitis (c), Siolo, Asotasi. Interchange: Lawrence, Wilder, Susino, Leha.
Sitting pretty on top of the NYC ladder, Newcastle will head into Sunday's clash against Cronulla buzzing with confidence.
Coach Mick Crawley has got his side playing super consistent footy and it’s been a joy to watch.
You can expect this trend to continue on the weekend against a Sharks side sitting in third last position on the competition table.
That said, the Knights can't afford to be complacent and they'll need to maintain their strong form to get the two competition points.
Sione Mata'utia vs Valentine Holmes
Now 18 and officially eligible to play NRL, Mata'utia has the rugby league world at his gifted feet.
Strong, skillful and speedy, the local Newcastle product is the type of player any coach would love to have on their side.
Luckily for coach Crawley, Mata'utia is on his team and he is extremely grateful.
The NSW 18s and 20s representative will shift from the centres to fullback for Sunday's match, a scary proposition for the Sharks.
Jaelen Feeney vs Jaden Clarke
From his composure through to his direction, Feeney provides plenty of class for the Knights from halfback.
The former Bulldogs No.7 has found a home in Newcastle as the Club's main attacking link.
Throw in a quality kicking game and Feeney is as important as player in the Knights' table-topping 20s side.
Luke Yates vs Jake Goodwin
Straight out of the old school mould of former Knights like Glenn Grief, Yates is as dependable as they come.
Whether it is his consistent runs or last-ditch defence, the local Newcastle lad has all the skills to go on and achieve a long career in the game.
Expect Yates to again feature prominently against the Sharks on Sunday.
Where it will be won:
Newcastle has proven to be fast-starters this season and they'll need to continue that form to beat Cronulla.
While the Sharks are languishing in the bottom half of the competition, the Knights shouldn't underestimate them on home turf.
The men in red and blue deserve to be favourites though and should get the win by 12 plus points.