NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v SYDNEY ROOSTERS
2015 Holden Cup
Date: Sunday August 9, 1.45pm
Venue: Hunter Stadium
1. Bryce Donovan, 2. Fuaimamao Uta, 3. Josh Birch, 4. Jacob Gagai, 5. Ken Tofilau, 6. Brock Lamb, 7. Jack Cogger, 8. Josh King, 9. Jake McNamara, 10. Daniel Saifiti, 11. Bradie Smith, 12. Ben Stone, 13. Jacob Saifiti. Interchange: 14. Sam Stone, 15. Tyrone Amey, 16. Roman Fepuleai, 17. Sam Apthorpe.
1. Latrell Mitchell, 2. Charlie Taylor, 3. Joseph Manu, 4. Paul Momirovski, 5. Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck, 6. Connor Watson, 7. Grant Garvey, 8. Billy Tsikrikas, 9. Joey Lussick, 10. Vincent Leuluai, 11. Ryan King, 12. Reuben Porter, 13. Sukamanu Raki, 14. Harry Barsdell, 15. Jake Steadman, 16. Poasa Faamausili, 17. Richard Skelton, 18. Samet Erten, 19. Isaac Crichton, 20. Shaquai Mitchell.
It was simply a flat week for the NYC Newcastle Knights according to coach Troy Pezet when looking back on last weekend’s defeat by the St George Illawarra Dragons.
That’s why the young Knights refuse to dwell on the loss, and instead plan to re-gather and unite as the team approaches the fourth placed Sydney Roosters on Sunday at Hunter Stadium.
“They have been up for a couple of weeks and are disappointed in their efforts and probably didn’t see it coming,” Pezet said of last week.
“We have had a good week at training and have put it behind us with five weeks to go.
“We are just excited and ready to make amends this week."
While facing the Roosters the first time this season, the Knights have kept an eye on the side throughout the year and are confident in their ability to identify and disarm the opposition’s threats.
“We have followed them in a couple of games in previews and have seen a little bit of what they have,” he said.
“Latrell Mitchell is going to be one to watch at fullback. He’s a really good player.
“For us we just need to improve on our key areas and that means being better defensively.
Pezet believes the Knights’ attitude in defence needs to be on point this weekend.
“We know that we can score points and have a pretty good team and when we’re confident, we can hold our own with anyone as we have shown at different times throughout the year,” he said.
“It’s just our concentration and work ethic in defence that needs to improve this week.
The Knights boast additional stability in the halves with Jack Cogger re-igniting his partnership with Brock Lamb after a recent return from injury.
“We are looking to Jack and Brock to be tidy in the way they finish our sets and I think we’ll go okay,” he said.
Bryce Donovan, Fuaimamao Uta and Ken Tofilau have also been forces to reckon with in the Knights’ back line.
“They are providing really good starts to our sets,” he added.
In the past two weeks the Knights have played on the road - Pezet acknowledges the side hasn’t performed as well as we would have liked - but embraces the chance to return to the home ground.
“We are looking forward to getting back home and have plenty to play for sitting on the edge of the eight,” he said.
“We need to keep winning if we are going to stay in touch.”
Where it will be won:
“The key this week lies in our ability to finish our sets, that’s really important,” Pezet said.
“I think our back three will be tidy and will get us off to a good start, and then we will be looking for the halves to finish it.
“The rest of the game will look after itself.”