Newcastle Knights v Parramatta Eels
Date: Monday May 30
Venue: Hunter Stadium
Gates open: 4.30pm
1. Nick Meaney, 2. Dean Kouka-Smith, 3. Heath Gibbs, 4. Kainoa Gudgeon, 5. Matt Soper-Lawler, 6. Jake McNamara, 7. Hayden Herbert, 8. Tyrone Amey, 9. Nick Newman, 10. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 11. Braden Robson, 12. Sam Stone, 13. Ryan Glanville. Interchange: 14. Zac Hosking, 15. Tom Starling, 16. Eddy Tuilotolava, 17. Jayden Butterfield
1. Bevan French, 2. James Gammidge, 3. Tyrell Fuimaono, 4. Dane Aukafolau, 5. Jermaine Mati-Leifi, 6. Michael Doolan, 7. Troy Dargan, 8. Alex Twal, 9. Denzal Tonise (c), 10. Jamie Stowers, 11. Jack Morris, 12. Tom Field, 13. Tom Amone, Interchange: 14. Matt Price, 15. Craig Field, 16. Kurt De Luis, 17. Tangi Hokai, 18. Tui Oloapu.
The NYC Newcastle Knights came ever so close to a victory last weekend so will be looking for a much stronger start to their game on Monday when they take on the Parramatta Eels.
"It was a game they did enough in the end to probably win, but just missed out. They will have to start a bit better,” coach Todd Lowrie said.
The opposition comes to Hunter Stadium searching for their fourth consecutive win and sit at equal third on the ladder.
“They are doing really well, so it will be a tough one for us,” he said.
Round 12 sees plenty of movement within the Knights' squad with a number of players taking their place in the line-up again due to a reserve grade bye.
“NSW Cup has the bye so we have a couple of guys back who have been playing with them the last couple of weeks,” he said.
“Hopefully they will come back and will play well.
“It tips a few of the younger guys out of the side unfortunately, but these players who are coming back have played with us a fair bit this year.
“They know everyone and what’s going on so will hopefully slot back in well”
After Brock Lamb and Jack Cogger sustained injuries playing in first grade, Jake McNamara and Hayden Herbert have paired up in the halves.
“Hayden Herbert has been there for a couple of weeks and has done really well,” he said.
“He was behind a few guys at the start of the year, but to his credit, he has played well and got himself a crack and has performed well when he has come in.”
The extended Monday turnaround has benefitted the Knights in the way of additional training sessions during the week.
“It has given us a little bit more time to work on some individual things which is good,” he said.
“You don’t get a lot of time throughout the week to focus on some skill areas.
“We have sharpened off a few things and have given them some days off training at the start of the week, which has freshened them up a bit."
The NYC side caps the week off with an opposed session with the NRL Knights.
“We have been doing it the last few weeks,” he added.
“The best way to learn is against an opposition so the extra numbers allow us to do that.
“It’s a good chance for us to run plays and defence against an opposition.
“For our guys it’s a really good thing to play against the first grade team and the last few weeks they have handled it really well.”
Where it will be won:
“I think the forwards will be a big thing in this game.” Lowrie said.
“Parramatta has a big aggressive forward pack and the players have a bit of experience in the 20s.
“Our forwards will certainly have to stand up.
“We had a really good win last time at home, we have spoken quite a lot and working hard at what it means to play for Newcastle and at Hunter Stadium.
“It’s something they take a lot of pride in playing at home and will be hoping to back that up.”