Photo: Paul Barkley / Melba Studios

GOLD COAST TITANS v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS 

Round 3, 2015 NYC
Date: Sunday March 22
Kick off: 3.15pm local time
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium

Last time they met:

The Under 20 Knights came out convincing 42-12 winners in RiseforAlex Round last year, with Sione Mata’utia laying the foundations for his NRL debut with a hat-trick.

Teams:

KNIGHTS

1. Dylan Phythian, 2. Brody Lam, 3. Bradie Smith, 4. Braden Robson, 5. Ken Tofilau, 6. Brock Lamb, 7. Jack Cogger, 8. Josh King, 9. Danny Levi, 10. Daniel Saifiti, 11. Ben Steven, 12. Jacob Saifiti, 13. Luke Yates. Interchange: 14. Jack Kelly, 15. Noah Easton, 16. Faitotoa Faitotoa, 17. Ben Stone.

TITANS

1. Brian Kelly, 2. Zac Spring, 3. Jed Cartwright, 4. Shaun Hudson, 5. Christian Mika, 6. Karl Lawton, 7. Bray Torpy, 8. Oshae Tuiasau, 9. Deacon Fletcher, 10. James Iodice, 11. Anthony Colman, 12, Hayden Schwass. Interchange: 13, Parahi Wilson, 14. Delayne Asby, 15. Nathan Watts, 16. Max Elliot, 17 Shane Wright.

Match Analysis:

The NYC Knights are ready to right their round two setback when they head back to Queensland to face the Gold Coast Titans on Sunday.

The young Knights were overcome by a late surge from the North Queensland Cowboys last weekend. NYC strength and conditioning coach Mick Reid attributed a lack of possession in the second half to damaging the Knights’ lead which eventuated in the 42-22 score line.

“It takes its toll on you in the back end of the game,” he said.

“They scored a few more tries than what we would have liked.

“When you don’t complete sets and don’t have good field position, you make it hard for yourself tackling all the time, it takes the fuel out of you.

“We hope the boys have learnt something from that."

This time around, the Knights will go back to the basics.

“The focus is getting to the ends of sets and just working on our game plan,” Reid said.

“It’s all about completion and keeping the ball in play and having good kicks.

“We are trying to tighten it up for our guys and to get them to understand where they are on the field.

“The plan is to finish strong like we did against the Warriors in the first round."

Three weeks into the season, established combinations have already flourished and are expected to make an impact against the Titans.

“We still have the two young guys, Brock Lamb and Jack Cogger, in the halves who played in the Australian Schoolboys side, so they are still learning and had some tutoring last night by Michael Hagan,” he said.

“The forward pack is what I’m liking as you have the young Saifiti boys (Daniel and Jacob) and Luke Yates, Josh King and also have Danny Levi there.

“They are gelling a fair bit and are owning the middle a little bit more.

“They have a fair bit of pride in their job and what they do.

“We also have Ben Stevens coming off the bench, who played against grown men last year with the Wyong Roos."

The Titans head into the match sitting in fourth position, winning their first two matches.

“The Titans have some hard running forwards and plenty of offloads and some zippy outside backs so we understand where they are coming from," Reid said.

“They will try to kick our door down thought the front and get their speedsters out through the back.

“We worked on it last night in making sure that the steel door is pretty much shut.

“They will have to go around the outside of us.”

Where it will be won:

Up front.

“I think it’s still going to be won in the forwards,” Reid said.

“That’s what we are trying to instill in the guys that it’s won in the trenches.

“When it gets tough the forwards are away they need to roll up their sleeves and dig in.”

Last Word:

“We are looking at not being a regular NYC team. We are trying to hang our hat on our defence and our middle,” Reid said.