NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v PARRAMATTA EELS
Round 7, 2015 NYC Holden Cup
Date: Sunday, April 19
Kick off: 1.45pm
Venue: Hunter Stadium
Referee: Chris Treneman
Last time they met:
The NYC Knights gained a 34-30 win over the Parramatta Eels at Hunter Stadium in Round 25 last season.
1. Bryce Donovan, 2. Fuaimamao Uta, 3. Josh Birch, 4. Braden Robson, 5. Ken Tofilau, 6. Brock Lamb, 7. Jack Cogger, 8. Josh King, 9. Danny Levi, 10. Daniel Saifiti, 11. Bradie Smith, 12. Jacob Saifiti, 13. Luke Yates. Bench: 14. Jack Kelly, 15. Ben Steven, 16. Faitotoa Faitotoa, 17. Ben Stone, 18. Noah Easton, 20. Tyrone Amey.
1. Bevan French, 2. Abbas Miski, 3. Atini Gafa, 4. Nathan Davis, 5. Reimis Smith, 6. Jason Vidal, 7. Zach Dockar-Clay, 8. Brandon Raeli, 9. Dylan Izzard, 10. Alex Twal (c), 11. Tyrell Fuimaono, 12. Jordan Muna, 13. Tom Amone. Interchange 14. Alec Bush, 15. Paula Kaufusi, 16. Aaron Pene, 17. Tepai-Tepu Smith, 18. Kurt De-Luis.
The NYC Newcastle Knights will draw on the desire and toughness displayed in the back end of last week’s two-point win when they face the Parramatta Eels on Sunday.
According to team manager Craig Smith it’s this determination and execution he expects the Knights to dish up from the outset of the match at Hunter Stadium.
“It was a hard fought game with slippery conditions against Cronulla. We didn’t start well which has been a bit of an issue for us over the last four weeks,” Smith said.
“We played a tough brand of football completing eight out of eight sets in the last 20 minutes to snatch a victory at the end with a two-point win.
“The pleasing part about it was how the boys were able to respond and dig their own way out based on effort and work their way towards a victory.
Yet the gutsy game didn’t come without cost.
Hooker Danny Levi (shoulder) and Jacob Saifiti (knee) have come away with injury concerns joining Ben Stevens (rib cartilage) and Braden Robson (sternum) who were sidelined from previous rounds.
“We’ve named a larger squad this week and will do fitness tests Saturday morning to finalise our squad,” he said.
“There may be a couple of new faces in there.
“Our depth will be tested in a couple of positions but we’re fortunate enough to have versatile players in Bradie Smith who can play back row or centre for us and Jack Kelly who could cover at hooker for us.
“Even with possible personnel change we are confident we have the depth.
“We finished off the last week of football playing a tough brand of football in trying conditions.
“If we were going to script into what we were going to do this weekend the way we finished last week is how we want to start this week.”
Where it will be won:
Smith says with the conditions this weekend predicted to be wet and slippery again, the Knights will need to stick to their game plan.
“We are at home, so I’d like to say there would be a little bit more intent about how we go about things,” Smith said.
“It will be about completion, kicking and the organisation of your two halves. If you look at that in terms of a marker, we’ve been completing quite well over the last coupled of weeks and we have two of the best halves in the country playing on our side.”