Reserve Grade match preview: Round 19
Newcastle Knights v Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles
Date: Saturday July 15
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
1. Nick Meaney, 2. Tom Hughes, 3. Jacob Gagan, 4. Bryce Donovan, 5. Thomas Cronan, 6. Will Pearsal, 7. Jack Cogger, 8. Mickey Paea, 9. Tyler Randell, 10. Jack Stockwell, 11. Sam Stone, 12. Braden Robson, 13. Tyrone Amey. Interchange: 14. Tom Starling, 15. Bradie Smith, 16. Pat Mata’utia, 17. Pasami Saulo, 18. Faitotoa Faitotoa, 19. Curtis Naughton, 20. Sam Bernstrom.
1.Viliami Kaveinga, 2. Maliko Filino, 22. Patrick Mataele, 4. Jonathan Wright, 5. Peter Schuster, 6. Pita Godinet, 7. Jackson Hastings, 8. Kelepi Tanginoa, 9. Joey Lussick, 10. Taealoaloa Amone, 11. Brendan Attwood, 12. Jarrad Kennedy, 13. Jamil Hopoate. Interchange. 15. Tyler Cassel, 16. Evrett Vaurasi, 17. Jordan Hall, 18. Dean Parata, 19. Jacob Samoa, 20. James Tuitahi.
Experienced forward Jack Stockwell is back from injury for Saturday’s clash against the Blacktown Workers.
Coach Simon Woolford has welcomed his return with the exit of forward Pauli Pauli to injury (lower leg).
“Jack is doing well... he had some time off with a niggling shoulder injury that just wouldn’t come good, so he’s had three weeks rest and is ready to go,” explained Woolford.
“He has had a couple of games with us already this year and has been one of our best players on both occasions so with Pauli injured, the timing for him coming back has been really handy.”
Almost nine months off after a shoulder reconstruction, Bryce Donovan was back on the field for the Knights last week and remains in the centres against Blacktown.
“Bryce was behind the eight ball with a shoulder reconstruction so he did a lot of pre-season training and he had a couple of games back in the local comp,” explained Woolford.
“He got his opportunity last week and he did a really good job and his goal kicking was an added bonus.
“His general play, his yardage carries and positional play with his defence was spot on so he gets another game again this week.”
The ISP coach said confidence also comes with plenty of depth from the bench.
“Last week we had Pasami (Saulo) coming off the bench for his first game from 20s and he did a really good job," Woolford stated.
"Patty (Mata’utia) has done a really good job off the bench and certainly adds some impact for us.
“Tyrone Amey has been doing a good job so we’re lucky we’ve had great sideline support and that certainly makes a difference.”
Last time the two sides met, the Blacktown Workers got the upper hand with an eight-point win, one the Knights' ISP coach would rather forget.
“It was probably our worst performance of the year, we didn’t give ourselves a chance,” Woolford said.
“We are definitely a lot better team now and at home before the NRL boys at McDonald Jones Stadium, we’ve got a lot of reasons to play well.
“We have won our last three and the boys should be playing with a bit of confidence so if all goes well, hopefully another good performance.”
Where it will be won
Woolford wants to see solid contributions from all 17 players and for the full 80 minutes.
“We obviously need a team performance, that’s been the key for the last five weeks and we’re just looking to build on that,” explained Woolford.
“They came off a big loss last week so they’re going to be looking to turn that around and we don’t want to drop our guard.”