WESTS TIGERS v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Round 23, 2015 NYC Holden Cup
Date: Saturday August 15, 10.40am
Venue: Campbelltown Stadium
Last time they met:
The NYC Newcastle Knights were beaten 52-16 by the Wests Tigers at Hunter Stadium in Round 10.
1. Sione Alofi, 2. Ryland Jacobs, 3. Obed Karwhin, 4. Marion Seve, 5. Jayden Wheelhouse, 6. Te Maire Martin, 7. Jeremy Marshall-King, 8. Junior Tatola, 9. Jacob Liddle, 10. Matthew Lodge, 11. Matthew Woods, 12. Bayley Sironen, 13. Tyler Cassel Interchange: 14. Veiru Mapesone, 15. Ray Stone, 16. Esan Marsters, 17. JJ Felise.
1. Bryce Donovan, 2. Matthew Soper-Lawler, 3. Josh Birch, 4. Fuaimamao Uta, 5. Ken Tofilau, 6. Brock Lamb, 7. Jack Cogger , 8. Josh King, 9. Jake McNamara, 10. Daniel Saifiti, 11. Bradie Smith, 12. Jacob Saifiti, 13. Luke Yates. Interchange: 14. Jack Kelly, 15. Tyrone Amey, 16. Noah Easton, 17. Faitotoa Faitotoa.
After a narrow loss last week, the NYC Newcastle Knights will be searching for redemption against the Wests Tigers on Saturday.
The U20s Knights dominated much of the game against the Sydney Roosters to be overtaken in the final five minutes.
“The boys trained really well this week after coming off a narrow loss last week in a game we probably thought we should have won,” development coach and team manager Craig Smith said.
“We let ourselves down a little bit at times in crucial areas in simple facets of the game.
“This week we want to focus on being good at what we do best.
“With a little bit of confidence if we do that well, we will be okay this weekend."
A number of players have battled injury during the year but the side is close to full strength approaching the pointy end of the season.
“We are fairly strong, although the results over the last couple of weeks haven’t shown that,” he said.
“Matt Soper-Lawler played on debut with us last weekend and was pretty good, so he’s back again which is great.”
Meanwhile, Faitotoa Faitotoa returns on a four-man interchange after recovering from a foot injury that's kept him sidelines for eight weeks.
While the young Knights have come up with some recent disappointing losses, Smith assures confidence within the side is still there.
“We have worked really hard to get to where we are and have probably let our guard down at times with last week’s game against the Roosters,” he said.
“They are giving us great effort at the moment.”
Looking at the opposition, Smith expects the Tigers to play an attacking brand of rugby league on Saturday.
“We would like to think we are more a defensive side so one cancels the other one out,” he said.
“That’s our main focus, on defence.
“We know if we turn up we’ll put points on them because we know we have the attack in us. It’s just getting the defence right.
“We like to think we are a hardworking side with not a lot of frills in us, although we have quality players in our halves with (Jack) Cogger and (Brock) Lamb who are Australian Schoolboys reps."
Where it will be won:
“It will be about keeping our boys grounded and them believing in all the processes that we’ve used all year to get to this stage,” he said.
“Our game will be won and lost in our camp. It won’t be about the Wests Tigers beating us.
“If we play well, we’ll get our two points.
“We are getting to the stage in the season now with four games to go and where we sit on the table, it’s not dire as yet but it will be nice to put a couple of wins together.
“If we are to do that it will cement a spot in the top eight.”