NYC match preview: Round 16

NYC match preview: Round 16

St George Illawarra Dragons v Newcastle Knights
Date: Sunday June 25
Venue: UOW Jubilee Oval
Kick-off: 9.45am

SQUADS

Knights

1. Matt Cooper, 2. Mitch Andrews, 3. Cory Denniss, 4. Heath Gibbs, 5. Kainoa Gudgeon, 6. Kurtis Dark, 7. Hayden Loughrey, 8. Cameron King, 9. Nash Birch, 10. Pasami Saulo, 11. Jack Johns, 12. Sam McIntyre, 13. Zac Hosking. Interchange: 14. Luke Huth, 15. Henry Penn, 16. Matt Croker, 17. Jayden Butterfield. 18. Will Finau, 19. Kyle Smith, 20. Jayden Hocking, 21. Dylan Clark, 22. Lachlan Farr, 23. Tom Starling.

Dragons

1.Steven Marsters, 2. Dylan Morris, 3. Matheson Johns, 4. Zac Lomax, 5. Jason Gillard, 6. Tristan Sailor, 7. Jackson Willis, 8. Matt Sheppard, 9. Cooper Purcell, 10. TJ Uele, 11. Stuart Mason, 12. Jackson Ford, 13. Joe Lovodua. Interchange. 14. Tom Angel, 15. Bailey Dickenson, 16. Trent Peoples, 17. Brayden Gallagher, 18. Max Bailey, 19. Jack Cross, 20. Josh Dowel, 21. Dane Franics, 22. Elijah Hunt, 23. Caleb Campbell.

Match Analysis

Fresh off the bye, the NYC Newcastle Knights welcome back Cory Denniss in the centres after a promotion to Reserve Grade.

“Cory will be back which will be good for us,” said coach Todd Lowrie.

“It is always handy to have a guy like that come back into the team.”

Jack Cogger is not long back from injury, but has worked his way into the ISP squad, leaving space for Kurtis Dark to move into the halves.

“Coggs has got his chance to move up a grade and Darky (Kurtis Dark) has been injured for quite a while,” added Lowrie.

“He played for us at the start of the year and then he missed quite a few weeks with a shoulder injury.

“He has had two games back with the local league side so with Coggs going up and Darky fit, that allows us to bring him back into the team so the timing was good.”

Youngster Luke Huth will also add some depth to the bench.

“He played hooker for the SG Ball side this year, has come up and has been training with us since the SG Ball side finished,” explained Lowrie.

“He has been doing really well at training and he actually played first grade for Lakes (United Seagulls) on the weekend as a 17-year-old and went really well.

“He turned 18 on Monday and gets the chance to come onto the bench and hopefully provide us with a bit of spark.”

With three grades lining up at Kogarah this Sunday, the Under 20s are booked in for an early start.

“We are on at 9.45am in the morning so it will be a good day for both clubs to have all three grades playing and putting on a show and I think for all three grades it will be a good contest,” Lowrie commented.

“It is certainly something we have talked about, playing that early.

“We have done it once or twice this year so far already but the simple factor is that the team we are playing are playing at the same time so it doesn’t matter.

“It will be who handles the start the best and who turns up to play at that time of the morning.”

Where it will be won

“The Dragons are always very good as far as their attack goes,” maintained Lowrie.

“They are really good traditionally in their second phase play and they’re quite skilful.

“Our defence and contact and winning the ruck will have to be good which is an area we have identified that we want to be better at.

“Thr Dragons traditionally have big, strong ball carriers in their team so our guys will have to be prepared for the physical challenge of it.”