NYC match preview: Round 7
Newcastle Knights v Sydney Roosters
Date: Friday April 14
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
1. Matt Cooper, 2. Mitch Andrews, 3. Brayden Musgrove, 4. Heath Gibbs, 5. Lachlan Farr, 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. Matt Croker, 16. Jayden Butterfield, 17. Pasami Saulo, 18. Henry Penn, 19. Josh Ralph, 20. Eddy Tuilotolava, 21. Will Davies, 22. Kainoa Gudgeon, 23. Dean Kouka-Smith.
1. Adam Pompey, 2. Zane Blake, 3. Kiah Cooper, 4. Jarred Anderson, 5. Kenneth Koro, 6. Lachlan Lam, 7. Sean O’Sullivan, 8. Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu, 9. Jesse Marschke, 10. Luke Chalker, 11. Zac Cardassilaris, 12. Josh Curran, 13. Victor Radley. Interchange: 14. Ben Thomas, 15. Bayley Faull, 16. Jarrett Boland, 17. Jackson Frei, 18. Ben Marschke, 19. Tristan Alvarado, 20. Juvilee Samiu, 21. Marlon Ritchie, 22. Lyndon Hills, 23. Nick O’Meley.
NYC Newcastle Knights coach Todd Lowrie hasn’t made any changes to his starting 13 off the back of a confident win but maintains possible changes before kick-off could be made.
“There may be a late inclusion coming back from Reserve Grade but we’ll just have to wait and see,” said Lowrie.
“Largely we’ll have the same team, there are a few other guys returning from injury this week who will come into contention as the week goes on but at the moment it is the same team as last week.”
One inclusion is Matt Croker on the bench, with the Knights Under 18s finishing up.
“We have about five or six of our SG Ball players come into our squad after they finished off last weekend,” explained Lowrie.
“Those guys will come in to contention straight away and Matt Croker is a guy that did a whole off-season with us so we know him quite well and he knows all the guys quite well.
“He had a really good year in the 18s so he certainly might come into consideration.”
Also on the extended bench, Henry Penn is returning from injury after his comeback was delayed last week.
“Henry has gone through the week touch wood so far, he just had a bit of a scare last week which is quite normal in that sort of an injury,” Lowrie said.
“He ended up being fine and hopefully he should be able to play this weekend.”
While, Josh Ralph is another player back from long term injury.
“Josh played 20s for the Titans last year and come down to us in the off-season but he has been injured,” Lowrie added.
“He had a shoulder reconstruction in the off-season so he’s done everything right, he’s a professional guy in the way he goes about everything and has done all his rehabilitation.
“He was right to go last week and played some local league for Lakes to get a game under his belt so he’s another one that will come into contention.”
The NYC coach has this week focused on their execution and concentration when they go up against the reigning premiers.
“We are good in patches and then ordinary in other patches,” said Lowrie.
“Just making sure our concentration is there for the full 80 minutes and we are able to execute the right plays.
“The Roosters like to play a bit like their first-grade squad does, they certainly throw the ball around and they score a lot of tries off ad-hoc footy.
“Our concentration and our alertness and our defence is going to have to be spot on this week.”
Where it will be won
Again, defence has been highlighted for the job to get done.
“They have got a fair bit of skill and footy in them, they play similar to their first-grade side so we’re going to have to be good defensively on the weekend,” explained Lowrie.
“They play quite an expansive style of game so particularly defence will need to be good on the day.”
The NYC Knights will be clashing with the Sydney Roosters at McDonald Jones Stadium on Good Friday; gates open at 3.30pm before NYC kick-off at 3.45pm.