Woolford praises hard work
Reserve Grade Newcastle Knights coach Simon Woolford couldn’t be any happier with his side’s progress so far.
The ISP squad claimed their second win for the season on the weekend, defeating the Newtown Jets by 10 points.
“We played pretty much a perfect first half and we came in with a healthy 14-point lead in the second,” explained Woolford.
The second half didn’t go quite as planned for the Knights but they were able to hold off their opponents to get the points.
“We made a few errors and gave away a few penalties and they got a couple of tries on us,” added Woolford.
“Three weeks ago if we had to do that much defence, we would have three or four tries on us without any problem.
“The improvement in our defence was evident and the boys’ willingness to work hard for each other on the try line was what won it through for us in the end.”
Back in the side after injury, the ISP coach believes Jaelen Feeney made all the difference.
“Just his enthusiasm and his talk, his organisation, taking the line on the way he does, he’s a big difference to our team,” Woolford commented.
Pauli Pauli also returned to the field after two months off recovering from a car accident.
“Paul Pauli is going to take a little while, he’s a big guy and he’s had a long time off so it’s going to take him a little while to get into full swing,” Woolford said.
“He had some nice touches and defensively did a good job for us on the edge when we had to give Pat Mata’utia a rest.”
Woolford admits he had good performers all over the park.
“Nick Meaney was a standout and I think that was his best game of the year,” he said.
“He has taken a little bit of time, he’s only young and he lacks a little bit of belief but he really showed he belongs in our team and hopefully he gets a lot of confidence out of that.
“Also Josh King and Jacob Saifiti, as well as the guys off the bench did a really good job, Tyrone Amey.
“Tyler Randell had his best game of the year, it’s nice to see the guys improving their game each week.”