nib Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown said with the Canberra Raiders a slight chance to get into the top eight, they’ll be wary of their determination come Friday night.
“Whilst it appears they’re out, a couple of sides above them are hit with injuries and not going so well so Canberra are mathematically a chance,” explained Brown.
“Their for and against is probably better than some sides they’re competing against for the eighth spot so it will probably give them a glimmer of hope.”
Reserve Grade regular Jack Cogger is set to come into the side to pair with Trent Hodkinson, with a knee injury ruling out five-eighth Brock Lamb for the rest of the season.
“Jack will definitely come in, he’s probably had a good five or six weeks back in Reserve Grade and if he didn’t have the injury at the start of the year, he would have already played a few games,” explained Brown.
“He played some games last year and made a good account of himself so we’re quite confident Jack will do a good job.
“We would have given Jack a game anyway, this week or next week.
“He worked really hard in the pre-season and worked hard to get back and I think he’s playing better footy now in Reserve Grade than he was last year, he’s physically better.
“Unfortunately, Brock (Lamb) won’t play this week or next week but it’s not a major injury and he can rest up and have a good pre-season, work on parts of his game and come back bigger and stronger next year.”
Nathan Ross is also set to be in the mix for the Round 25 clash.
“Rossy certainly enjoys playing and he certainly gives his all every week,” said the Knights coach.
“He is a late starter and likes to play as many games as he can but it is a credit to him for wanting to come back.
“He is working hard to get back and always looks sharp; he trains like every day is his last which helps him become the player he is.
“If he pulls up great he’ll play, if he pulls up sore he won’t play.”
Meanwhile, the Knights have granted utility Tyler Randell’s request for an immediate release.
“It was right for Tyler,” said Brown.
“He had a good offer from Wakefield for two and a bit years so it was the right thing to do from that point of view.
“We have got young Tom Starling playing in Reserve Grade who’s doing a good job.
“He is a young kid on the way up who's here next year.”
The Knights travel to Canberra on Thursday for their match against the Raiders Friday night. Kick-off is 6pm.