WYONG ROOS v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Round 3, 2015 NSW Cup
Date: Saturday March 21
Kick off: 3.00pm local time
Venue: Morrie Brean Oval
Last time they met:
The Knights ran out 22-12 winners over the Roos in Round 20 of last year in their late push for second place.
1. Nathan Ross, 2. Jake Mamo, 3. Chanel Mata’utia, 4. Josh Allison, 5. Honeti Tuha, 6. Carlos Tuimavave, 7. Danny Kerr, 8. Sam Mataora, 9. Chad Redman, 10. Paterika Vaivai, 11. Clint Newton (c), 12. Brett Jarrett, 13. Joseph Tapine. Interchange: 15. James Taylor, 16. James Elias, 17. Michael Steele, 20. Jake Finn, 21. James De Saxe.
21. Nene Macdonald, 2. Chris Centrone, 3. Brendan Elliot, 4. Yileen Gordon, 5. Matt Ikuvalu, 6. Brock Molan, 7. Tyler Cornish, 8. Magnus Stromquist, 9. Mitch Williams (c), 10. Eloni Vunakece, 11. Willie Manu, 12. Leivaha Pulu, 13. Lagi Setu, 1. Alex Langbridge, 14. Jack Seijka, 15. Abraham Papalii, 20. Samisoni Langi.
The Newcastle Knights' explosive backline played a central part in the side’s win over the Mounties last round.
So it’s understandable that it’s already been identified by the Rip Taylor coached Wyong Roos as an area to shut down when Newcastle face them on Saturday.
“They are confident coming off last round’s win,” Knights NSW Cup coach Matt Lantry said.
“For us now it’s really just about consistent performances, that’s no secret when you’re playing reserve grade.
“I like the way our halves worked last week.
“Within our halves you talk a little bit about our spine with Nathan Ross at fullback and Chad Redman at hooker, so I’d like to see that combination with that four in key positions continue to enhance over the next few weeks.
“They played really well together last week and will need the same sort of performance this week."
Lantry says the Knights are feeling strong and well prepared for the clash after quality training sessions during the week.
“All our fulltime players were back on Wednesday so we got a full session with the full team on Wednesday and will do the same this afternoon,” he said.
While the Knights have gained some momentum, the Wyong Roos will be no easy task, especially at home.
“It’s a class roster, they are obviously no amalgamated with the Roosters,” he said.
“That pushes some quality back there so guys like Willie Manu, Langi Setu and Nene Macdonald all have plenty of NRL experience. Yileen Gordon is another one that is pretty strong out there on the left edge.
“Typical Rip Taylor coached teams are always going to be physical and if we can weather that storm and ensure we just get into the arm wrestle wit Wyong. It should be a decent game of footy."
While the Knights are committed to developing cohesion among the squad, as with any reserve grade player, their major drives comes from the desire to move into the NRL side.
“Their ambition is to push forward and play NRL and is the end get the opportunity to knock on the door when you play consistently,” he said.
Where it will be won:
In what is to be the third game of the season the Knights’ will need to continue to polish the basics of their game.
Especially up against an opposition that boasts a number of experienced players with NRL time under their belt.
“I think nothing really changes for us over the next few weeks,” Lantry said.
“I think every team says the same thing that it’s about set completions, limited errors, be good with your discipline and you give yourself every chance.
“We need to ensure we get throughout sets.
“At this time of year you don’t need to be the flashiest team, you just have to have the team that’s tough in relation to the mental attitude in relation to what needs to get done in attack and defence.”
The final word:
"Our attitude is the big thing that can get us over the line here,” Lantry said.