Manly Warringah Sea Eagles v Newcastle Knights
Date: Saturday June 4
Venue: Brookvale Oval
Referee: Liam Nicholls
Touch Judges: Mark Bohan, Faye Lehane
1. Peter Schuster, 2. Halauafu Lavaka, 3. James Tuitahi, 4. Tony Satini, 5. Matt Wright, 6. Dylan Kelly, 7. Pita Godinet, 8. Luke Burgess, 9. Hugh Pratt 10 Addin Fonua-Blake 11 Fabian Goodall 12 Liam Knight 13 Nathan Green. Interchange: 14. Daniel Vasek, 15. Moses Noovao-McGreal, 16. Rhys Armstrong, 17. Esra Howe.
1. Bryce Donovan, 2. Ken Tofilau, 3. Henry Penn, 4. Akuila Uate, 5. Matt Soper-Lawer, 6. Kurt Aldridge, 7. Dylan Phythian, 8. Jack Stockwell, 9. Joe Morris, 10. Uti Baker, 11. Ben Stone, 12. Braden Robson, 13. Luke Yates. Interchange: 14. Logan Harris, 15. Tama Koopu, 16. Bradie Smith, 17. Roman Fepulea’I, 18. Michael Steele, 19. Rob Mason.
The reserve grade Newcastle Knights are set to advantage from the leadership and skill from having experienced NRL heads in the line-up when they meet the Manly Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval on Saturday.
“It’s always a positive,” coach Matt Lantry said about the inclusion of winger Akuila Uate and forward Jack Stockwell in this week’s team.
“They provide that experience factor our team has significantly lacked in the first 12 weeks of the competition and I’m looking forward to seeing them roll around with the young players in our team.”
It’s the Knights aim to build intensity against Manly after a somewhat disjointed period in the season.
The Knights had a bye in Round 7, followed by a break during the representative round and another bye in Round 12 which has thwarted the ability to build a sense of momentum among the team.
“Within six weeks of footy, we’ve had three weekends off which isn’t ideal,” he said.
“It has been a little bit inconsistent for a little over two months.
“A couple of times I thought over the last few weeks, our season started to take a bit of a toll and we haven’t been as energetic as we’ve needed to be to compete consistently throughout the game.”
In Round 13, Manly sits two wins ahead of the Knights and boasts a quality team with the likes of Luke Burgess and Addin Fonua-Blake up front and NSW Resident Dylan Kelly who is playing in the halves.
“They are fielding some class and experience, but what we need to ensure we are doing is that we turn up and play with the right energy,” he said.
“We aren’t going to worry too much about the opposition or the result, it’s more about us and individual performance and what we do as a team."
Lantry continues to see the improvement and promise in many of the side’s young members who have moved between the U20s NYC competition and reserve grade.
“The kids have been pretty good and I can’t fault their effort," he said.
“It states the clear argument that NSW Cup is the clear pathway for these players,’ he said.
“They either stay with us and become better players or go back to NYC and become better from the experience.
Where it will be won:
“It comes back to physicality and controlling the ruck area,” Lantry said.
“Once the ruck gets quick, the ability to get back 10 meters and get off your line consistently takes its toll.
“Once teams generate that ruck speed, we really struggle for the remainder of the set.
“We need to make sure what we do in the middle third and how we control the area really dictates to us where we play the game.”