Newcastle Knights v Brisbane Broncos
Date: Friday September 8
Venue: Allianz Stadium
1. Matt Cooper, 2. Mitch Andrews, 3. Cory Denniss, 4. Heath Gibbs, 5. Kainoa Gudgeon, 6. Jack Johns, 7. Hayden Loughrey, 8. Eddy Tuilotolava, 9. Nash Birch, 10. Matt Croker, 11. Brodie Jones, 12. Kurtis Dark, 13. Zac Hosking. Interchange: 14. Luke Huth, 15. Henry Penn, 16. Sam McIntyre, 17. Cameron King. 18. Viko Puliuvea, 19. Dylan Clark, 20. Jayden Butterfield, 21. Kyle Smith, 22. Brayden Musgrove, 23. Ofa Manufetoa.
1.Corey Allan, 2. David Fauid, 3. Haydyn O’Hara, 4. Gehamat Shibasaki, 5. Herbie Farnworth, 6. Josh Fauid, 7. Dray Ngatuere Wroe, 8. Patrick Carrigan, 9. Tristan Hope, 10. Jai Whitbread, 11. Brandon Russell, 12. Kotoni Staggs, 13. Tyson Smoothy. Interchange. 14. Jaydn Su’A, 15. Ed Burns, 16. Sam Elliott, 17. Clayton Mack, 18. Rory Ferguson, 19. Gerome Burns, 20. Thane Kellermeyer, 21. Kobe Hetherington, 22. Mitipere Tuatai, 23. Trai Fuller.
After the NYC’s heroic fight into the finals, the Under 20s side is now preparing for a short turnaround to take on the Brisbane Broncos in Sydney on Friday.
The starting 13 remains relatively unchanged although Brodie Jones and Cameron King are set to come back in to prop up the forward pack.
“Cameron King played Reserve Grade last week so he’ll come back into the team which is good for us,” said NYC coach Todd Lowrie.
“We are a chance of getting Brodie Jones back as well so their confidence will be high after winning in Reserve Grade in the final on the weekend.
“I think what has helped with making the semis is we’ve managed to keep a somewhat consistent team throughout the year and we haven’t had a whole lot of injuries which has been good.
“You can tell just how much better they are at playing together this time of the year than at the start of the year because they have been able to train all the time and play all the time together certainly helps to create combinations.”
Lowrie admits they’d rather forget the last time they encountered the Queenslanders.
“They gave us a bit of a touch up last time we played them so we’ll certainly be looking to make amends for that,” Lowrie commented.
“The boys have a lot of confidence now from a bit of momentum that they carried into last week’s game when we ran over the top of them and to do it on the back of a gutsy win against Canberra (Raiders) the week before.”
But the coach maintains it will be a fairly evenly matched battle.
“Coming up against the Broncos, although they gave us a hiding last time, I think we’re pretty evenly matched teams so hopefully it will be a quality game of footy,” he said.
“We have identified that the period just before half time and just after half time are pretty crucial in the 20s games.
“That time of the game is certainly an important one and one we’ve worked hard on our fitness to be in the game at that time.”
Where it will be won
“We have got to match their physicality,” said the NYC coach.
“The Broncos are a big, strong side so if we can maintain the physicality and the aggression that we showed and the attitude that we brought on the weekend then that’s going to go a fair way to winning this game.
“Our attitude and our willingness to come at them and take on the physical battle will have a big impact on the game.”
The Knights take on the Broncos Friday night at Allianz Stadium, kick-off is 5.15pm.