Knights junior Tom Starling made his NYC debut in Round 19 of the 2015 season and is one of nine Knights to be selected to take part in the NSW Origin Pathways program.

NYC Preview: Round 21

Manly Sea Eagles v Newcastle Knights
Date: Sunday July 31
Venue: Brookvale Oval 
Kick off: 1.45pm

Teams:

MANLY SEA EAGLES 

1.  Tom Wright, 2. Luke Polselli, 3. Sione Hopoate, 4. Brad Parker, 5. Lucas Price, 6. Nicho Hynes, 7. Cade Cust, 8. Amoni Tufui, 9. Tremaine Brown, 10. Elia Faatui, 11. Billy Bainbridge (C), 12. Jayden Hocking, 13. Darcy Cox. Interchange: 14. Manase Fainu, 15. Tevita Funa, 16. Eddie Wulf, 17. John Tuivaiti, 18. Jaiden Tarrant.

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS 

1. Nick Meaney, 2. Kainoa Gudgeon, 3. Cory Denniss, 4. Henry Penn, 5. Matthew Soper-Lawler, 6. Nick Newman, 7. Hayden Herbert, 8. Tyrone Amey, 9. Tom Starling, 10. Jayden Butterfield, 11. Eddy Tuilotolava, 12. Sam Stone, 13. Braden Robson. Interchange: 14. Jake McNamara, 15. Zac Hosking, 16. Cameron King, 17. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 20. Jordan Pinnock.

Match analysis:

The NYC Newcastle Knights will be aiming for a strong effort in defence when they come up against the Manly Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval on Sunday.

In the lead up to the Round 21 match, the young Knights have been working on team cohesion following a number of narrow defeats.

“We are focused on getting better as a team, coach Todd Lowrie said.

"We have worked a lot this week on working together and not just as individuals.

“That will be one of our focused this weekend.”

A positive of late has been the side’s determination to stay in the fight despite a lack of execution throughout games.

“It probably shows a bit of courage that we’ve managed to only lose by small margins,” he said.

“It shows the guys are having a bit of a dig we just need to be better to try to get some wins.

 “We just haven’t played well enough to get results.”

The last time the two sides met was on ANZAC Day at Hunter Stadium with the young Knights displaying flair in attack to secure a 30-24 win over Manly.

However, Lowrie says there’s not much benefit in reflecting too much on that game with both sides changing considerably in that time.

It’s hoped winger Matt Soper-Lawler will continue his impressive form on the edge.

“He knows how to find the line which is a good skill as a winger. He certainly scores some tries. I don’t reckon there are too many other wingers in the NYC who would score the tries he does."

Meanwhile, Knights junior Tom Starling will ready himself for his first game named at starting hooker.

The Kincumber Colts junior has benefited from recent representative duties with the U18 NSW Blues.

“His form has warranted him getting a starting position,” he said.

“He has been good for us all year and has been doing really well, so deserves his chance.”

Where it will be won:

Defence.

“We will need to be good defensively as Manly is a really good attacking team,” he said.

“They have scored 72 points in the last two weeks.

“They certainly have a lot of attack in them know how to score tries so we have to stop them.”