Reserve grade preview: Round 9
Newcastle Knights v Wyong Roos
Date: Saturday April 30
Venue: Woy Woy Oval,
Kick off: 7.30pm
Referee: Jeff Hartup
Touch Judges: Jimmy Oliveira, Mitchell Stone
1. Bryce Donovan, 2. Ken Tofilau, 3. Henry Penn, 4. James Elias, 5. Tyme Dow-Nikau, 6. Jaelen Feeney, 7. Dylan Phythian, 8. Josh King, 9 Kurt Aldridge, 10. Tama Koopu, 11. Tekina Vailea, 12. Bradie Smith, 13. Luke Yates, 14. Danny Kerr 15. Sam Bernstrom, 16. Michael Steele, 17. Uiti Baker 19. Sam Cook.
1. Omar Slaimankhel, 2. Chris Centrone, 3. Nathan Smith, 4. Dominic Reardon, 5. Charlie Taylor, 6. Kauri Aupouri, 7. Tyler Cornish, 8. Paki Afu, 9. Mitch Williams, (c) 10. Carne Doyle-Manga, 11. Jackson Hill, 12. Jai Ingram, 13. Zane Tetevano. Interchange: 14. Brock Molan, 15. Jake Lewis, 16. Kurt Warden, 17. Joey Lussick.
Refreshed from the weekend’s bye, the reserve grade Newcastle Knights intend to get their season back on track when they meet the Wyong Roos on Saturday.
In Round 9 Wyong sits at seventh on the ladder with four wins and three losses with the Knights yet to kick-start their season after accruing a single win.
“I think the break probably came at a timely situation for us,” coach Matt Lantry said.
“We haven’t had the greatest of starts but certainly the effort and commitment has been there.
“It’s been a little bit of our execution that has let us down across the course of the first seven or eight weeks of the competition.
“We will need a real energetic approach to this game.”
Looking at Wyong’s lineup, Lantry identifies a number of dangers to watch.
“They will field a strong team,” he said.
“Tyler Cornish back there in the halves steers the ship really well.
“With their forward back as well there is no doubting it will be a tough contest.
“They have Zane Tetevano and he’s been around for a bit.
“If they get a start on the front foot, add in Mitch Williams, a classy dummy half, then they can really do some damage around that ruck area.
“That can be difficult to contain them because of their sheer size.”
Meanwhile, the Knights welcome the return of Josh King who has played his first two games in the NRL.
“It’s no doubt that experience was invaluable,” he said.
“We’d like to see a quality performance out of Josh and that he leads by example within our pack.”
With a number of Sydney Roosters set to make an NRL return this weekend, there’s also the possibility of player movement to Wyong, the NRL feeder club.
“The other thing I will be interested in seeing who comes back from that top squad at the Roosters,” he said.
“(Mitchell) Pearce is back this week and (Jared) Waerea Hargreaves.
“We will play who is in front of us and will get that job done.”
Lantry looks for his players to hold concentration from start to finish in order to put a polished performance on the park.
“I would like to see a bit more of a committed consistent performance across the board for 80 minutes,” he said.
“If we can execute our game plan well enough then I think we will be there abouts with a chance.”
Where it will be won:
“We need to control the footy for 80 minutes and not give up too much possession,’ he said.
“We need to look after that mid third defensively throughout the course of the game.
"The physical size of the Wyong pack and Mitch Williams jumping out of dummy half will certainly pose as a decent threat.
“It will certainly be physical and I’m sure that will bring the best out in both teams.”