Reserve grade preview: Round 6
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v WESTS TIGERS
Date: Sunday April 10
Kick off: 11.30am
Venue: Hunter Stadium
1. Jaelen Feeney, 2. Ken Tofilau, 3. Mao Uta, 4. James Elias, 5. Bryce Donovan, 6. Dylan Phythian, 7. Will Pearsall, 8. Josh King, 9. Kurt Aldridge, 10. Tama Koopu, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Luke Yates, 13. Tekina Vailea. Interchange: 14. Danny Kerr, 15. Bradie Smith, 16. Michael Steele, 17. Uiti Baker.
1. Will Smith, 2. Josh Hall, 3. Sam Clune 4. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, 5. George Jennings, 6. Matt Place, 7. Zach Dockar-Clay (c), 8. Andy Saunders, 9. Sione Katoa, 10. Moses Leota, 11. Corey Harawira-Naera, 12. Sitaleki Akauola, 13. Elijah Taylor. Interchange: 14. Brendon Attwood, 15. Ben Garcia, 16. Tupou Sopoaga, 17. Zac McKay.
After last weekend’s loss to the North Sydney Bears, Newcastle Knights reserve grade coach Matt Lantry challenges his side to up the ante this week against the Penrith Panthers when the side returns to Hunter Stadium on Sunday.
“We were disappointed as a team with individual performances," he said about last weekend's contest.
“I think all the guys will put their hand up and agree with that. The challenge this week is how they respond.”
Simple errors have cost the Knights dearly and hampered any cohesion among the team.
“We haven’t given ourselves an opportunity to develop combinations because at the moment we have been ill disciplined with the footy and have given too many penalties away," Lantry added.
“Our game within the first six weeks, we’ve had to do more than our fair share of defence.
“I’m sure we have learned the hard way.
“We need our team to be respectful of the footy and our discipline all round to ensure we have enough time with the footy and energy in the tank to execute well.”
Lantry identified plenty of strike power among the Panthers line-up the Knights will have to handle.
“They are a very good team with very good outside backs,” he said.
“You look at Will Smith who is back from being in first grade the first few weeks.
“Josh Hall is a very good athlete and came across from AFL. He will be one to watch and not give too much room.
“The key will be around their nine Sione Katoa and that our are markers are defending well and defending together to limit their opportunities because he will really get them on the front foot.”
Where it will be won:
Attention to detail.
“What we have really stressed this week is our attention to detail on a lot of things,” Lantry said.
“That’s what has severely been lacking with all the basic fundamentals of the game from the way we carry the footy to the way we have an ability to play the ball freely.
“If we can get those areas right we will at least cut our error rate in half.
“This week will need to have a really good look in our own back yard.
“The potential is there is that we prepare well and play well as individuals which will contribute to a team performance and give us the opportunity to be in the game.
“Hopefully we will get a response this weekend.”