NYC preview: Round 20
Cronulla Sharks v Newcastle Knights
Sunday, July 24
Southern Cross Group Stadium
1. Will Kennedy, 2. Sione Katoa, 3. Jesse Ramien, 4. Lachlan Stein, 5. Josh Tuilagi, 6. Jack Williams, 7. Rhys Davies, 8. Tepa Fuiavailili, 9. Jayden Brailey (c), 10. Jaimin Jolliffe, 11. Jesse Savage, 12. Ash Nisbet, 13. Eddie Faalua. Interchange: 14. Justin Timu, 15. Brock Ilett, 16. Briton Nikora, 17. Daniel Vasquez, 18. Keenan Yorston, 19. Kyle Flanagan.
1. Nick Meaney, 2. Kainoa Gudgeon, 3. Cory Denniss, 4. Henry Penn, 5. Matthew Soper-Lawler, 6. Hayden Herbert, 7. Jack Cogger, 8. Jayden Butterfield, 9. Nick Newman, 10. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 11. Eddy Tuilotolava, 12. Sam Stone, 13. Braden Robson. Interchange: 14. Tom Starling, 15. Heath Gibbs, 16. Cameron King, 17. Pasami Saulo, 20. Jordan Pinnock.
Despite a spirited second half effort, the NYC Newcastle Knights were defeated 26-24 at Hunter Stadium last weekend by the Melbourne Storm.
The fight shown in the second half of the game is the type of energy coach Todd Lowrie hopes to see from the get-go this Sunday at Shark Park.
“Our first half wasn’t great but our second half was good and we played really well,” Lowrie said.
“Unfortunately we just let ourselves down at the end of the game.
“I think the best thing they did in the game is they got themselves back in a position where they should have won it.
“We were down by about 20 points and we showed a lot of fight and effort to get ourselves in the position where we should have won the game.
“That was probably the best part of it.”
After being rested following a game with the U20s NSW Blues team last week, Jack Cogger will appear in the side’s halves this weekend with Lowrie expecting his representative experience to lift his overall game.
“He was pretty happy after last week especially after winning with the Blues,’ he said.
“He came back with plenty of energy and really wanted to play on the weekend, but it was in his best interest to have a bit of a rest.
“He has a great attitude and when he comes back to us hopefully he will bring some of that energy from the Origin camp last week because I know he was buzzing after the experience.
The Cronulla Sharks sit at sixth position with the Knights expecting a decent challenge at Shark Park on Sunday morning.
“They are actually a really good team and because their first grade side is a settled team, their 20s team is the same,” he said.
“When we played them up here at the start of the year we only just got them in the end.
“I’m expecting it to be a good game and they have been hitting some form lately.
A number of the Sharks players have also played reserve grade recently this season and will return to the U20s lineup.
“It’s going to make it difficult but our guys will be up for the challenge,” he said.
Meanwhile, the NYC Knights this week have benefitted from an opposed training session against the NRL Knights.
“Not a lot of clubs get to do that, so for our guys to get to train against the NRL is something they find really good and it’s really beneficial for them,” he said.
“Any time they can get exposed to a bit of NRL atmosphere is really good for them.
“They see more intensity in their training and we do a lot of defending in those sessions, so it’s good to work on that and do a bit of game simulation we don’t get to normally to do throughout the week.”
Where it will be won:
“We just need to bring a lot of energy this week,” Lowrie said.
“Our energy has been a bit down over the bye period that we have just come through.
“We need to bring more effort than what we’ve shown over the next few weeks.
“We have seen with a bit more effort from a few guys, last week would have been a different game.”