NYC match preview: Round 18
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Newcastle Knights
Date: Sunday July 9
Venue: Belmore Sports Ground
1. Matt Cooper, 2. Mitch Andrews, 3. Kyle Smith, 4. Heath Gibbs, 5. Kainoa Gudgeon, 6. Kurtis Dark, 7. Hayden Loughrey, 8. Cameron King, 9. Nash Birch, 10. Matt Croker, 11. Jack Johns, 12. Sam McIntyre, 13. Zac Hosking. Interchange: 14. Luke Huth, 15. Henry Penn, 16. Brodie Jones, 17. Jayden Butterfield. 18. Will Finau, 19. Gary Anderson, 20. Viko Puliuvea, 21. Dylan Clark, 22. Lachlan Farr, 23. Tom Starling.
1. Corey Matthews, 2. Kiko Manu, 3. Adam Keighran, 4. Morgan Harper, 5. Cameron Scott, 6. Michael Doolan, 7. Brandon Wakeham, 8. Cameron Torpy, 9. Joseph Tramontana, 10. Giordan Patea, 11. Hayden Ashcroft, 12. Luis Strickland, 13. Zac Cardassilaris, 14. Dalton Smith, 15. James Clark, 16. Spike Te’io, 17. Elie El-Zakhem, 19. Kayne Kalache 20. Lachlan Talau, 21. Tui Katoa, 22. Ofa Finau, 23. Alvin Maungaati, 24. Peni Misinale.
The NYC Newcastle Knights will welcome a few players back from injury for Sunday's match against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Belmore.
Set to be his first game this year, Brodie Jones has been named on the bench after a long stint on the sidelines with injury.
“Hopefully Brodie plays, as long as he’s on track to come back from his injury,” explained Under 20s coach Todd Lowrie.
“Hopefully he gets through the week at training and plays this weekend, which would be good because he’s been out for a while.”
Big forward Viko Puliuvea has also been named on the extended bench for a possible comeback from an injury sustained in Round 7.
“Viko has had a long time out with his injury and he’s looking to play a bit of footy and force his way back to the team,” explained Lowrie.
With handy forward Pasami Saulo getting the call up to ISP, young Matt Croker will get the start in the number 10 jersey.
“Pasami has gone up because he’s been really strong for the last couple of weeks, so he gets his opportunity to go up to ISP which is a good reward for him,” Lowrie said.
“He has certainly been one of our best in the last few weeks.
“We lose Tommy (Starling) our hooker and captain this week, but (Nash) Birchy has played a lot for us this year and he comes in and does a really good job when he’s there.”
On the NYC ladder, there are three points separating the top three teams followed by the Knights in fourth.
“The top few teams have kicked away a bit and it’s pretty congested around us, so we’ve got to keep winning,” said Lowrie.
“We have just got to make sure we keep putting in good performances to try and establish our spot in the top four.”
While the Bulldogs may be further down the ladder, Lowrie admits his men need to be weary of their momentum.
“The Bulldogs had a good week against Parramatta last week which was a bit of an upset, but it shows they are running into some form,” Lowrie commented.
“They are playing well so we need to get through a lot more sets than we did last week."
Where it will be won
Building pressure is vital according to the NYC coach.
“It would be nice to be able to build some more pressure which goes hand in hand with discipline,” explained Lowrie.
“As long as we maintain our discipline, complete our sets and keep defending like we’ve been defending then I think that will go a long way towards winning the game.”