Cronulla Sharks v Newcastle Knights
Date: Saturday April 1
Venue: Southern Cross Group Stadium, Cronulla
Kick-off: 10.45am

Squads

NEWCASTLE

1. Matt Cooper, 2. Mitch Andrews, 3. Brayden Musgrove, 4. Heath Gibbs, 5. Dean Kouka-Smith, 6. Jack Johns, 7. Hayden Loughrey, 8. Cameron King, 9. Tom Starling, 10. Viko Puliuvea, 11. Dylan Clark, 12. Sam McIntyre, 13. Zac Hosking. Interchange: 14. Nash Birch, 15. Will Davies, 16. Jayden Butterfield, 17. Pasami Saulo, 18. Eddy Tuilotolava, 19. Lachlan Farr, 20. Tavita Fesolai, 21. Kye Hopwood, 22. Brendan O’Hagan, 23. Keanu Dawson.

CRONULLA

1. William Kennedy, 2. Sione Katoa, 3. Clayton Uia, 4. Bessie Aufaga-Toomaga, 5. Johnathan Tufuga, 6. Jack Williams, 7. Kyle Flanagan, 8. Daniel Vasquez, 9. Blayke Brailey, 10. Brock Ilett, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Ryan King, 13. Billy Magoulias. Interchange: 14. Zachary Faulkner, 15. Eddie Faalua, 16. Tony Matautia, 17. Joshua Carr, 18. Lane Ferling, 19. Kurtis Shayler, 20. Rusiate Lumelume, 21. Luke Jurd, 22. Kalani Pewhairangi-Charlie, 23. Brody Hawkins.

Match Analysis

The NYC Newcastle Knights will be looking to bounce back from their loss against the Penrith Panthers last week.

Coach Todd Lowrie admits his side are working on their defence in preparation for this Saturday’s clash against the Cronulla Sharks.

“Penrith were a good team and they made us pay for our errors and mistakes, which resulted in us not defending our goal line very well,” explained Lowrie.

“As good teams do, they just punished us for our mistakes.

“Regardless of the score line we did some really good things last week and I was really happy with the effort of a lot of the guys.

“Plenty showed improvement over the first four rounds, and are actually improving a lot from week-to-week, which is pleasing.

“It is just about keeping everybody on track and the boys are certainly keen to come out against Cronulla and make amends for what was a pretty ordinary score line last week.

“The Sharks are a good side; they have a lot of good players and will certainly be tough.”

The NYC coach will push Mitch Andrews back to the wing with Brayden Musgrove set to come back in.

“Brayden Musgrove was injured last week, Mitch (Andrews) played in the centres which he did pretty well,” said Lowrie.

“We’ll just see if Brayden gets through the week with Mitch Andrews to push out to the wing.

“Brayden has played quite a few 20s games so he’ll be a good addition to the side.

“Hopefully if he gets his leg right and he gets through the week he’ll be a good addition to us.”

Captain Tom Starling has also been named back in the NYC side following a stint with Reserve Grade.

“Tom Starling is back in the side dependent on a couple of injuries, but at the moment he’s with us,” added Lowrie.

“He provides a lot when he is there….. he provides a lot of confidence for everybody else.

“In saying that the bloke that played hooker last week, Nash Birch did a great job and got our Players’ Player, he did really well.”

Where it will be won

Lowrie is certain wins will come with a more structure defence.

“Obviously we’ve got to fix up our defence,” he said.

“If we can defend our line better, we’ve certainly got enough points in us to score to win, so I think if we can get our goal line defence a bit better sorted then we’ll be fine.”

The NYC Knights take on the Cronulla Sharks this Saturday at Southern Cross Group Stadium, kick off at 10.45am.