MANLY SEA EAGLES v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Semi Final, 2015 NSW Cup
Date: Saturday September 5, 4pm
Venue: Belmore Sports Ground
Referee: Daniel Olford Touch Judges: Michael Laverty, Jay Farlow
Last time they met:
Saturday’s semi final will mark the third encounter between the two teams after a 38-24 triumph for the Knights in Round 17. The teams’ second clash was last week in Round 25 when the Sea Eagles got one back with a 48-14 win at Brookvale on Saturday.
1. Dom Reardon, 2. Delroy Berryman, 3, Brayden Wiliame, 4. Tony Satini 5. David Williams, 6. Jack Littlejohn, 7. Manaia Rudolph, 8. Siosaia Vave (c,) 9. Kurt Aldridge, 10. Tyson Andrews, 11. Michael Chee Kam, 12. Dylan Kelly, 13, Jordan Latham, 14. Cheyse Blair, 15. Ben Fritz, 16. Uiti baker 17. Vinnie Ngaro.
1. Kerrod Holland, 2. Honeti Tuha, 3. Pat Mata’utia, 4. Chanel Mata’utia, 5. Ken Tofilau, 6. Carlos Tuimavave, 7. Jaelen Feeney, 8. Damian Sironen, 9. Danny Levi, 10. Tama Koopu, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Brett Jarrett, 13. Luke Yates, 14. George Ndaira, 15. Michael Steele, 16. Sam Apthorpe, 17. Ben Tupou.
Saturday’s semi final will be the third encounter between the Newcastle Knights and Manly Sea Eagles this NSW Cup season, with both teams surely eager to prove their dominance from the outset.
The re-match comes in the form of a back-to-back game against the Northern Sydney side at Belmore Sports Ground.
Looking back on last week’s 38-24 loss to Manly, Lantry describes the Knights as brave in defeat.
The Knights held a lead throughout the first stanza but the turning point was when the away team lost possession after a wayward offload which resulted in a 14-point turn around.
“We lost a lot of momentum from that and the start to the second half was not great,” Lantry said.
“Possession went against us and hence, we were on the wrong end of the scoreline.
Lantry believes Newcastle can learn a lot from last week's game knowing they play the Eagles again this week.
“I don’t think either team is going to change the way they play approaching the game,” he said.
“Whilst it’s a benefit for us, it’s also a benefit for them.”
“If we were to take out a pleasing thing, I thought our defence on the edge was okay,” he said.
With Manly scoring four of their six tries off kicks, the Knights will be wary to shut down their end of set plays.
“The game comes back to defending your errors, minimising your penalties and controlling the middle third which is where Manly’s strength is,” he said.
“Back in round 17 we probably fielded the best NSW Cup team we have this year and in Round 25 it had flipped and they have fielded their strongest team and we are a little bit light on in the way of full-timers.
“With the team that we have their, it’s the strongest that we’re going to get and I have every confidence that 17-man team will get the job done.
Lantry says a positive for the Knights is having Damian Sironen return to the forward pack and Danny Levi at hooker.
“It strengthens our middle third a little bit along with Tama Koopu and LukeYates.
“I’d like to think that’s where we’ll improve on our performance last week and that will allow Carlos (Tuimavave) and Jaelen (Feeney) to do their stuff from the halves perspectives.
The attacking games of Chanel Mata’utia and Kerrod Holland will also be an asset.
“I’d be looking for the boys to have a spring in their step this week and hopefully not worry about the result and just get the process right," he said.
"Generally, if you get the process right, you will win the game."
"At the end of the day, if you put too much pressure on yourself and worry about the result, you get tired and you fail to execute.
"We know it’s do or die and at times I will require blokes to go above and beyond."
Where it will be won.
"The key to winning is our defence and I’ve said it for a number of weeks," Lantry says.
"It’s improved in patches, but it hasn’t been a big enough consistent improvment."
The Knights' focus lies in not leaking points with Lantry predicting a tight scoreline.
"If we can minimise Manly to 16 or 18 points or less, then we’ll win the game,' he said.
"Whilst we have points scored against us, we’ve been able to go back to back with a few tries.
"We are representating the Club now on a whole for what’s left from a finals perspective and hopefully we have a few weeks left."