NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Round 12, 2015 NSW Cup
Date: Sunday 31 May, 9.30am AEST
Venue: Mount Smart Stadium
Referee: Jamal Thompson
1. Jake Mamo, 2. Honeti Tuha, 3. Tyme Dow-Nikau, 4. Chanel Mata’utia, 5. Kerrod Holland, 6. Carlos Tuimavave, 7. Jaelen Feeney, 8. Sam Mataora, 9. Chad Redman, 10. Paterika Vaivai, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Clint Newton (c), 13. James Taylor. Bench: 14. Danny Kerr, 15. Michael Steele, 16. Marvin Filipo, 17. Ben Tupou, 20. Jake Finn.
1. Sam Cook, 2. Ken Maumalo, 3. Arden Mccarthy, 4. Viliami Kaveinga, 5. Paul Ulberg, 6. Api Pewhairangi, 7. Mason Lino, 8. Toafofoa Sipley, 9. Zac Tippins, 10. Nathaniel Peteru, 11. Dominique Peyroux, 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner, 13. Charlie Gubb. Bench: 14. David Bhana, 15. Paki Afu, 16. Stedman Lefau, 17. James Bell, 18. Jarrod Tua.
The NSW Cup Knights hit the road in one of the competition’s furthest journeys to compete against the New Zealand Warriors in a triple-header clash at Mount Smart on Sunday.
The Warriors carry a reputation for size and strength and coach Matt Lantry expects nothing less on Sunday.
“Their back row is really strong,” Lantry said.
“Dominique Peyroux and Raymond Faitala-Mariner, there is some real strike there.
“Their halves are good too.
“Mason Lino has come up there out of the under 20s and Api Pewhairangi used to be here.
“They control the ball really well.”
Fittingly, the Knights’ plan has centered on shoring up their middle and preparing for a barrage up front.
“If we allow them to dominate in the middle their halves will play some good footy off the back of it,” Lantry said.
“The strike power they have on the edge with their two back rowers is probably an area we need to be conscious of.
“You have to be prepared for a physical game, there’s no doubting that.
“They like to chance their hand a little bit and offload the footy.
“We have to be good on our defence and ensuring we’re getting our bodies in front and locking up the footy.
“For us when we have the ball, our priority is completion.
“If we don’t force the issue this weekend, we may end up like we did with the Tigers.
“They beat us back here in Round 1.
“We are both on the same competition points, so it’s important for both teams to get a win."
With the possibility of player movement from the NSW Cup side to the Club’s first grade due injury, the coach assures the team is well versed in adapting to change.
“It’s not going to unsettle us too much,” Lantry said.
Named to take a place in the back line for Round 12 are some fresh faces in Tyme Dow-Nikau and Kerrod Holland, who have captured attention from the Newcastle rugby league competition.
“The pleasing thing about them is that they’ve been two consistent players in the local competition,” he said.
“If you perform well locally and want to give the NSW Cup pre-season a go and buy into the concept here, the opportunity comes if you’re patient.
“It’s a reward for those two guys.
“I’m looking forward to see how those guys go.”
For a number of the side’s members who hail from New Zealand, it’s a chance for them to return home.
“For some it’s an opportunity to go back and play against their former club, for others its just an opportunity to play in front of their family which they don’t get to do out here,” he said.
“I think that’s a big motivating factor for those guys.
“They will want to put in a decent game.”
Where it will be won:
“If we allow them to offload and dictate through the middle third, we will have a tough day,” Lantry said.
“If we can get our bodies in front and can ensure we can bring plenty of energy to the game and start well, it will give us a chance.”