Newcastle Knights v Canberra Raiders
Date: Sunday May 14
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
1. Matt Cooper, 2. Mitch Andrews, 3. Cory Denniss, 4. Heath Gibbs, 5. Kainoa Gudgeon, 6. Hayden Loughrey, 7. Josh Ralph, 8. Cameron King, 9. Tom Starling, 10. Matt Croker, 11. Zac Hosking, 12. Sam McIntyre, 13. Jack Johns. Interchange: 14. Dylan Clark, 15. Henry Penn, 16. Pasami Saulo, 17. Eddy Tuilotolava, 18. Nash Birch, 19. Brayden Musgrove, 20. Jayden Butterfield, 21. Will Davies, 22. Lachlan Farr, 23. Jayden Hocking.
1. Harry Van Dartel, 2. Wesley Tameifuna, 3. Sebastian Kris, 4. Andre Niko, 5. Mikaele Ravalawa, 6. Logan Spaander, 7. Lachlan Cooper, 8. Emre Guler, 9. Zac Patch, 10. Zac Masters, 11. Jack Murchie, 12. Hudson Young, 13. Jarred Tuite. Interchange. 14. Jayden Carroll, 15. Kye Madden, 16. William Samuel, 17. Fabien Paletua-Kiri, 18. Matthew Scott, 19. Sione Afemui, 20. Komiti Tuilagi, 21. Sato Ketia-Opo, 22. Sam Finnegan, 23. Daniel Keir.
NYC Newcastle Knights coach Todd Lowrie hopes the week off has refreshed his young team as they prepare to take on the Canberra Raiders at home this Sunday.
“The boys had the whole week off so they’ve had plenty of time to freshen up, being we don’t play until Sunday,” said Lowrie.
“It is about coming back in as a group and getting together and having a little bit of a look at the next couple of weeks.
“We have got a few byes coming up so it has been a reasonably low key start to the week and we’ll ramp things up.”
Just below the Knights, the Raiders are sitting in ninth place on the ladder with both teams five wins apiece so far this season.
“They are pretty similar to us,” explained Lowrie.
“We have always found Canberra tough; they always seem to play well against us whether it is at home or on the road.
“They are very physical, always quite big, strong and aggressive.
“Our boys certainly have to be up for the challenge in that part of the game if we’re going to be competitive against them.”
On the back of his SG Ball Player of the Year award at the Knights junior presentation night on Monday, Matt Croker again gets his start in the number ten jersey.
“He has done pretty well for us over the first couple of games,” said Lowrie.
“He did well in his first game when he picked up Players’ Player and he played pretty strongly again last week so he’s earnt his spot in the team and he’s doing pretty well.”
An unchanged starting 17, Jack Johns will again start in the forward pack.
“He (Jack Johns) is still learningwhat he is doing, but he is doing a pretty good job of it,” commented Lowrie.
“He is a handy bloke to have in the team because he can cover a few positions but he’s doing a pretty good job thrown into the forwards.”
Where it will be won
“We will definitely have to match Canberra’s aggression which is something that they’re generally known for,” said Lowrie.
The Under 20s coach maintains defence continues to be a work in progress and needs to be on song against a tough Raiders side.
“We can score tries as we’ve shown throughout the year but we’ve still got a bit to go in stopping some,” said Lowrie.
“If we can get our defence sorted out, we should have enough points in us to get home.”