NYC match preview: Round 9
Gold Coast Titans v Newcastle Knights
Date: Saturday April 29
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium
1. Matt Cooper, 2. Mitch Andrews, 3. Brayden Musgrove, 4. Heath Gibbs, 5. Kainoa Gudgeon, 6. Hayden Loughrey, 7. Josh Ralph, 8. Cameron King, 9. Tom Starling, 10. Matt Croker, 11. Henry Penn, 12. Sam McIntyre, 13. Jack Johns. Interchange: 14. Dylan Clark, 15. Pasami Saulo, 16. Jayden Butterfield, 17. Eddy Tuilotolava, 18. Nash Birch, 19. Cory Denniss, 20. Will Finau, 21. Zac Hosking, 22. Lachlan Farr, 23. Jayden Hocking.
1. Phillip Sami, 2. Tyronne Roberts-Davis, 3. Tyler Ingram, 4. Daniel Brownbill, 5. Curtis Dansey-Smaller, 6. Ethan Roberts, 7. Alexander Brimson, 8. Moeaki Fotuiaka, 9. Tim Swane, 10. Kobe Tararo, 11. Rory Lillis, 12. Apiata Noema, 13. Reihana Marsh. Interchange. 14. Zae Wallace, 15. Keenan Yorston, 16. Justin Fai, 17. Blake Lenehan, 18. Luke Polson, 19. Corey Manicaros, 20. Bostyn Hakaraia, 21. Jordan Birch, 22. Tye Barry, 23. Xavier Johansson.
NYC Newcastle Knights coach Todd Lowrie admits there’ll be a few changes against the Gold Coast Titans this weekend.
Showing he’s a versatile asset to the squad, Jack Johns will switch from his usual starting position of five-eighth to the back row.
“Jack (Johns) has actually been playing a bit of back row for us,” said Lowrie.
“He will start there; Josh Ralph will come into the halves and Jack will start in the back row for the first time this season.”
ISP regulars Kainoa Gudgeon and captain Tom Starling will also return to the side.
“With Trent (Hodkinson) playing reserve grade that pushes Tyler (Randell) back to hooker and pushes Tom (Starling) back to us and at this stage he’ll be back with us,” Lowrie explained.
Under 18s talent Matt Croker will also get his first start for the season in the number 10 jersey.
“He was really good, he had his first go for us on the weekend and he came up from the Under 18s and picked up the Players’ Player award,” commented Lowrie.
“His team mates certainly appreciated what he did and he played really well so he gets his chance to start.”
After a disappointing 54-12 defeat to the North Queensland Cowboys last weekend, the Under 20s coach says the side has worked hard on putting a spark back into their game for this weekend.
“When we had our review on Monday, it was pretty confronting for a lot of the team,” Lowrie explained.
“I know the guys are motivated to come out and do a lot better this week that’s for sure.”
Lowrie admits the Titans will want to bounce back from their 36-point loss to the Cronulla Sharks last week.
“It will be an interesting battle between the two of us to see who bounces back the best after pretty heavy losses last week,” he said.
“It is another trip away for us so I guess a bit of a carbon copy of last week.
“Probably the best way to go about it is to jump straight back into it where the guys can have another chance of doing a bit better than last week.”
Again, with travel this week, the coaching staff is set to lighten the load for the Under 20s.
“Feedback last week, the guys said they felt a little bit tired or didn’t have as much energy as they have done,” explained Lowrie.
“The long day travel may have taken it out of them so being that we’re back on a plane this week, we’ll try and lighten them up towards the end of the week.”
Where it will be won
The focus is on their own game plan.
“I reckon we have to worry about ourselves this week and concentrate on getting back to doing the things that we have been doing well,” said Lowrie.
“The Titans are a very strong team particularly at home but I think a lot of the focus this weekend will be on our defence and what we do well and getting back to doing that.”