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Pat Mata-Utia - Competition NRL Round 10 - Newcastle Knights v Cronulla Sharks, Sunday 15 May 2016, Venue Hunter Stadium, Newcastle NSW Photographer, Shane Myers ©

Newcastle Knights v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Date: Sunday July 3
Venue: Newcastle Sportsground No. 2
Kick off: 3pm



1. Bryce Donovan, 2. Tom Hughes, 3. Mao Uta, 4. Pat Mata’utia, 5. Akuila Uate, 6. Ryan Walker, 7. Will Pearsall, 8. Uiti Baker, 9. Ben Stone, 10. Jack Stockwell, 11. Pauli Pauli, 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 13. David Bhana. Interchange: 14. Logan Harris, 15. Tama Koopu, 16. Bradie Smith, 17. Luke Yates, 18. Kurt Aldridge.


1. Brad Abbey 2. Reimis Smith 3. Chase Stanley, 4. Tyrone Phillips, 5. Jarrod McInally, 6. Matt Frawley 7. Harry Siejka, 8. Makahesi Makatoa, 9. Bronson Garlick, 10. Lloyd Perrett, 11. Lamar Liolevave, 12. Renouf To’Omaga, 13. Graham Clark. Interchange: 14. Reubenn Rennie, 15. Ray Moujalli 16. George Tsikrikis, 23. Jake Kamire.

Match analysis:

Attention to detail and minimising errors will be the focus for the Reserve Grade Newcastle Knights on Sunday when they come up against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Round 17 of the Intrust Super Premiership at Newcastle's No. 2 Sportsground. 

While the side was beaten by the Illawarra Cutters at Hunter Stadium last weekend, coach Matt Lantry was pleased with the potential shown by the relatively young side.

“As much as the score line wasn’t great, we did some nice things,” he said.

“It's just the consistent errors that creep into our game that will put us under pressure.

“We dropped the ball after our first try in the next set, then there was a repeat set that compounded the error.

“They are the things that are killing us at the moment. If we can be more clinical when we score points and minimise errors and penalties, then we will find we will be much more competitive for longer periods in the game.

“It’s concentration and challenging the players to have attention to detail and game awareness.

“It’s a simple process but at times players lack concentration or over complicate.”

With the side featuring a number of players still eligible to play NYC, he’s confident improvements will be made with time. 

“From a footy sense, maturity is a thing the side lacks at the moment and that is due to age," he said. 

“It takes time and there are certainly some processes to go through to get better.

“We just have to back our skill and judgment a little bit more instead of being a bit conservative.”

Tom Hughes joins the Knights’ line-up after training fulltime with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

“It certainly gives us some depth in the outside backs with his ability to play wing, centre and fullback,” he said.

“Wing is his preferred position but he has the flexibility to move within the three areas.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing how he goes and how he plays with the team.”

Lantry says a positive to come out of the loss was that halfback Will Pearsall played his best year of the season and Pat Mata’utia, Pauli Pauli and Akuila Uate also performed well.

“Those guys need to be at their best week in, week out to give themselves a chance to go back up," he said. 

The Bulldogs sit just outside the top eight with Lantry viewing their position on the table as not reflective of how they have been playing of late.  

The fact they’ve seen a number of key players return to the side over the past few weeks has corresponded with their most recent good form.

“They are a very good side across the board,” he said.

“They possess a decent challenge for us and are looking to put a couple of wins together consecutively.”

Where it will be won:

The middle.

“The Bulldogs like their second phase play and their offloads,” Lantry said.

“We need to control the middle and minimise their offloads and be tidy with the footy ourselves.” 

The Newcastle Knights play at Newcastle's No.2 Sportsground on Sunday. The canteen at the ground will be run by the Lions Club and will have basic hot food, snacks, cold soft drinks, tea and coffee.