WENTWORTHVILLE MAGPIES v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Round 16, NSW Cup
Date: Sunday June 28, 3pm
Venue: Ringrose Park
Referee: Daniel Olford Touch Judges: Jay Farlow, Brenden Wood
1. Adam Quinlan, 2. Bureta Faraimo, 3. Fabian Goodall, 4. Vai Toutai, 5. Jake Butler-Fleming, 6. Ryan Matterson, 7. Beau Henry, 8. Tui Kamikamica, 9. Sam Gorman, 10. Taniela Lasalo, 11. Joseph Ualesi 12. Josh Aloiai, 13. Lionel O’Mally, 14. Dean Parata, 15. Fred Pakutoa, 16. Moses Manu, 17. Nick Kassis.
1. Nathan Ross, 2. Honeti Tuha, 3. Pat Mata’utia, 4. Chanel Mata’utia, 5. Kerrod Holland, 6. Dylan Phythian, 7. Jaelen Feeney, 8. Ben Tupou, 9. Danny Kerr, 10. Tama Koopu, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Luke Yates, 13. Marvin Filipo, 14. Jace Delaney, 15. Josh King, 16 Brett Jarrett, 17. Tuiala Togitasi.
Second half effort was the crux of the Newcastle Knights’ defeat in last week’s match so will take a central focus when the side faces the Wentworthville Magpies on Sunday.
“It’s been our Achilles heel all year and I’ve challenged the guys this week. I think our mental toughness has been tested,” NSW Cup Knights’ Coach Matt Lantry said.
“We need to sharpen our mental toughness in the second half, particularly defensively and we will find we can win games and are not chasing points."
The Round 16 match provides the NSW Cup Knights an opportunity to strengthen their spot in the top eight as the season moves closer to the finals.
With NSW Cup regulars Sam Mataora, Jake Mamo, Carlos Tuimavave, Pat Vaivai, Joseph Tapine and Clint Newton all featured in the NRL Knights’ line-up for Friday night’s game against the Broncos in Brisbane, reserve grade has had it’s depth challenged.
But according to Lantry there’s a positive spin to the situation and it’s all comes down to the opportunity it provides players.
“We may not have some of our full timers, but we are really excited to give some blokes an opportunity this weekend,” he said.
A portion of the squad has been made up of players who are stepping up from the local Newcastle competition as well as a number who’ve been prompted from the Club’s U20s side.
“NYC Knights Luke Yates, Dylan Phythian have been there in the past and Josh King will get his crack this weekend,” he said.
He’s a good young kid and will handle the NSW Cup. He’s a tough, uncompromising front rower who will enjoy the tussle there on the weekend.
Nathan Ross, this week is named at fullback due to Jake Mamo’s rise to the NRL and performed soundly in last week's game after his return from injury.
“He handled last week okay and will look for him to improve this week,” he said.
The Knights head into the game with a 50 per cent success rate at seventh position on the ladder with the Magpies at the bottom of the competition trailing too off a loss.
Yet Lantry warns not to take the competition ladder into too much account when predicting NSW Cup results.
“I think each game you have to take it on its merits for what it is,” he said.
“Both teams will be out to do their best and we will need to pull our gloves up because a win would be nice for us to lead into Manly and then the bye."
If the last match between the two teams is anything to go by, it's set to be an entertaining affair.
The Round 7 tussle at Hunter Stadium saw the Knights winning early before the Magpies fought back into the game to lead.
The Knights then dug deep after a penalty to win the game by two points.
“I don’t think it will be too different,” Lantry predicted.
Where it will be won:
Lantry has challenged the side’s outside backs to produce steely and uncompromising defence when under pressure.
"Our middle third defence is vitally important and we have blokes that can hold their ground and do a job for us there," he said.
“There has been some line breaks that have put us under pressure, so effective one-on-one tackles will be important.