Woolford thrilled with three straight wins
Reserve Grade Newcastle Knights coach Simon Woolford said his squad is gaining confidence each week after the side’s third consecutive win on Saturday.
Woolford admits the Round 6 meeting against the Penrith Panthers was a tough task, with the added challenge of three NRL regulars in Matt Moylan, Peta Hiku and Waqa Blake.
“Penrith had three first graders dropped back for disciplinary reasons so it was a really good team performance to get the win,” he said.
“Waqa Black, Peta Hiku and Matt Moylan, they’re all outside backs and good attacking players so it was important we knew exactly what we needed to do defensively to limit their impact.
“It needed to be a collective effort and we were able to do that, we certainly did limit their impact which was very pleasing.”
While the Club's ISP coach maintains it was hard to single out any of his players for their stellar performance, he praised the impressive work of his back five.
“Braden Robson and Kainoa Gudgeon on the right and Cory Denniss and Jacob Gagan on the left with (Nick) Meaney at the back, they did a fantastic job of diffusing some situations where Penrith were in good positions to score some points,” Woolford added.
“We didn’t have a poor performer but those guys handled the likes of Hiku, Blake and Moylan very well.”
Woolford admits his side struggled in the first three weeks of the competition but now it’s all coming together.
“We had quite a new team that hadn’t trained together as a team much over the pre-season with the part-timers and the full-timers coming together,” said Woolford.
“It was just about getting a few games under our belts, being comfortable with each other and knowing each of our roles.
“Getting that win against Wentworthville in the last minute of the game really did give us a shot of confidence and belief and we’ve just carried on from that which is really pleasing.
“If we keep working together like that, keep working for one another, there’s no reason why we can’t keep winning.”
While Woolford was delighted with the win, he believes there’s always room for improvement.
“Even though our defence was really good, we let in a couple of tries that we were disappointed with,” he explained.
“Defensively we need to keep working hard both individually and as a team and our attack just seems to be getting better and better every week.
“We’re slowly starting to find our mojo with our attack and we’ll just be making sure we are working on the key areas.”
Next up, the Reserve Grade Knights take on the Blacktown Workers at Lottoland on Saturday.