Sydney Roosters v Newcastle Knights
Date: Friday July 21
Venue: Allianz Stadium
1. Matt Cooper, 2. Mitch Andrews, 3. Kyle Smith, 4. Heath Gibbs, 5. Kainoa Gudgeon, 6. Kurtis Dark, 7. Jack Johns, 8. Cameron King, 9. Tom Starling, 10. Matt Croker, 11. Brodie Jones, 12. Sam McIntyre, 13. Zac Hosking (c). Interchange: 14. Hayden Loughrey, 15. Henry Penn, 16. Will Finau, 17. Jayden Butterfield. 18. Ofa Manuofetoa, 19. Gary Anderson, 20. Viko Puliuvea, 21. Dylan Clark, 22. Nash Birch, 23. Will Davies.
1. Nick O’Meley, 2. Zane Blake, 3. Kiah Cooper, 4. Adam Pompey, 5. Bernard Lewis, 6. Lachlan Lam, 7. Sean O’Sullivan, 8. Ben Thomas, 9. Jesse Marschke, 10. Luke Chalker, 11. Reuben Porter, 12. Jarred Anderson, 13. Victor Radley. Interchange. 14. Jarrett Boland, 15. Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu, 16. Josh Curran, 17. Daniel Stojanovski, 18. Zachary Bouzounis, 19. Jackson Frei, 20. Ben Marschke, 21. Lyndon Hills, 22. Sitili Tupouniua, 23. Kereti Tautaiolefua.
After last week’s 28-point loss, the NYC Newcastle Knights will need to keep their composure to get back in the top four.
“The boys were pretty disappointed, we just didn’t give ourselves an opportunity to be in the game which we have spoken a bit about this week,” stated NYC coach Todd Lowrie.
“We started pretty well but we didn’t give ourselves a chance to be competitive and you’ve got to be able to hold on to the ball and not give penalties away.”
Since being back from injury, Brodie Jones will start his first match against the Sydney Roosters on Friday.
“This is Brodie's third game in and he has been pretty good in those first two games,” commented Lowrie.
“He is still finding his feet a little bit but he’s doing pretty well so he gets his chance to start the game.”
Named on the bench, SG Ball’s Ofa Manuofetoa looks set to get his chance on the wing.
“Ofa has been playing first grade for Souths Newcastle in the local competition and has been doing really well, so he’ll come in on the wing for us,” explained the NYC coach.
Forward Viko Puliuvea could also be in for his first match back from injury.
“Viko is right in the mix this week because there’s a couple of guys who are in doubt,” explained Lowrie.
“He has been doing pretty well back at local league after being back for a couple of weeks so he’s right in the mix to get his first go for a little while this weekend.”
While the Roosters might be further down the ladder, Lowrie admits he doesn’t like to take too much notice of table standings.
“It has shown in the 20s, it doesn’t really matter where you sit on the table,” he said.
“If you don’t turn up and play somewhat near your best game, then you’re probably going to get beat.”
The Under 20s coach maintains this week is about being in the contest.
"Being in the game and giving ourselves some opportunities to get the win,” added Lowrie.
“It is more about holding onto the ball and getting rid of some of the silly errors and poor options that we took last week.
“It is a tough game going down to Allianz Stadium and playing the Roosters down there, it is always a big ask.”
Where will it be won
Possession is going to be key.
“Most of our defence has been pretty good but I think the score line on the weekend was a by-product of not holding onto the ball,” he explained.
“You can defend as good as you like but if you keep giving them the ball, they keep running at you fresh and you get tired defending, so it doesn’t matter how good you are, you’re eventually going to start leaking some points.
“Most of our focus has been on our attack rather than our defence because if we hold the ball more, we’ll certainly defend a lot better.”