NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v WENTWORTHVILLE MAGPIES
Round 7, 2015 NSW Cup
Date: Sunday, April 19
Venue: Hunter Stadium
Referee: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
Touch Judges: Brendan Lucas, Mitchell Stone
Last time they met:
The NSW Cup Newcastle Knights earned a satisfying 24-12 win in the first semi final game in early September last year. The match saw fullback Nathan Ross score a double and was an important step in progressing to the Grand Final.
1. Nathan Ross, 2. Jake Mamo, 3. Chanel Mata'utia, 4. Pat Mata'utia, 5. Honeti Tuha, 6. Carlos Tuimavave, 7. Jaelen Feeney, 8. Sam Mataora, 9. Chad Redman, 10. Paterika Vaivai, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Marvin Filipo, 13. Clint Newton (c). Interchange: 14. Danny Kerr, 15. James Taylor, 16. Kerrod Holland, 17. Ben Tupou, 20. Jake Finn.
1. Adam Quinlan 2. Halauafu Lavaka 3. Ben Crooks 4. Fabian Goodall 5. Jake Butler-Fleming 6. Ryan Matterson 7. Luke Kelly 8. Richie Fa’aoso 9. Lionel O’mally 10. Pauli Pauli 11. Tepai Moeroa 12. Joseph Ualesi 13. Cody Nelson. Interchange: 14. Sam Gorman 15. Fred Pakutoa 22. Taniela Lasalo 17. Beau Henry 18. Daniel Alvaro 20. Tui Kamikamica.
After coming painfully close to victory against the undefeated Mounties in Round 6, the NSW Cup Knights have sights firmly set on a win at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.
This week’s challenge is against the Wentworthville Magpies, who are sitting on 2 wins from 6 games and are yet to gain momentum in the competition.
Though coach Matt Lantry identifies plenty of tests in the opposition’s line-up.
“Their strength this weekend is what they present in their forward pack and Richie Fa’aoso, Pauli Pauli and Tepai Moeroa,” Lantry said.
“They have a decent crew that will roll forward if you don’t control the middle third and the ruck.
“Off the back of that Luke Kelly (halfback) has played a little bit of first grade and Adam Quinlan (fullback) has played plenty of first grade as well.
“If we allow them to roll through the middle they have some class and have the outside backs to play some footy out of.
“It’s certainly a decent challenge for us.”
Lantry is comfortable the Knights’ stable forward pack will stand up well to the Magpies’ likely barrage in the middle third.
Mainstay forward Pat Vaivai is back in the fold with Sam Mataora also named after being ruled out due to injury last weekend.
“Sam Mataora is someone that has improved from his early season form and is pushing for selection in the NRL squad when an opportunity opens up. He’s been our best player the last couple of weeks,” he said.
The side’s outside backs will also receive a boost with Nathan Ross returning to fullback and Chanel Mata’utia on the wing after recovering from injury.
With predicted rain at Hunter Stadium on Sunday, Lantry said the Knights will structure their play around the wet weather.
“It’s about respecting the conditions a little bit,” he said.
“You can still use the footy a little bit but can’t get caught playing too one-dimensionally and rolling the ball through the middle third. You still have to ask some questions of the defensive line.
“It’s about being patient with the footy and not putting the catcher under pressure.
“I think it will be a bit of a dour game in the wet, but if we can still execute and hold onto the footy and get through our sets then we have a bit of chance.”
Where it will be won:
“It’s more about our defensive efforts this week,” Lantry said.
“It’s probably the disappointing thing against the Mounties last week.
“If we can get our area of defence right, where we stop the offloads and control the forward pack rolling forward and make some smart decision on the edge in relation to our defence, that will certainly help us with what we need to get done.”
“We just need to get our attack right at the moment, we probably haven’t put in a full 80-minute performance and that’s what we need to focus on," Jake Mamo said earlier this week after reflecting on the NSW Cup Knights' loss to the Mounties.